Posted: Nov 19, 2021 01:36 GMT
According to internal documents from Facebook – as it was then called Meta – the company repeatedly found, over the last 3 years, evidence of the damage that the platform causes to most of its young users.
The attorneys general of several US states formed a bipartisan coalition to investigate whether Meta has violated the laws by promoting its Instagram platform to minors, announced Thursday the Chief of the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, who heads the group.
“Facebook, now Meta, has failed to protect young people on its platforms and instead chose to ignore or, in some cases, duplicate known manipulations that pose a real threat to physical and mental health: exploiting young people. children for the sake of profit, “the prosecutor said in an email quoted by ..
Although the size of the coalition is still unknown, their participation has been confirmed by the attorneys general of eight states, plus Massachusetts: California, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, Vermont and New York, as well as Washington DC. The head of the capital’s prosecutor’s office, Karl A. Racine, also opened his own investigation, his spokeswoman, Abigail McDonough, confirmed to The Washington Post.
The move comes after the Wall Street Journal published internal Facebook documentation – as it was then called Meta – in September, according to which the company repeatedly found during the last three years evidence of the damage that Instagram causes to the majority of its young users, in particular, to teenage girls. In particular, studies carried out between 2019 and 2020 by Facebook researchers showed that some of the problems detected do not derive from the use of social networks in general, but are Instagram specific.
“Facebook, or Meta, has learned that Instagram is related to depression, eating disorders, and suicide among young people, “Healey said on his Twitter account, promising to” end the abuse for good. “
For his part, Andy Stone, Meta spokesman, described the accusations as “false” and stated that they “show a profound misunderstanding of the facts.” “While the challenges to protecting youth online affect the entire industry, we have led the industry in the fight against bullying and supporting people who struggle with suicidal thoughts, self-harm and eating disorders, “he said.