Thirty-three US states have filed a lawsuit in federal court in California against Meta over accusations the company has designed Facebook and Instagram features to "ultimately ensnare youth and teens" in pursuit of maximizing profit.
The total number of states suing Meta rises to 41 plus Washington, DC when adding in nine attorneys general who are filing lawsuits in their states.
Meta's deception in light of its own research showing the addictive nature of its platforms for youth is reminiscent of Big Tobacco’s assault on public health and its harmful lying when faced with litigation in the '90s. Like the tobacco companies, hopefully, Meta will be forced to pay restitution and develop ways to make their products safer.
There have been mixed results in past lawsuits against Meta and other Big Tech firms. In the meantime, parents should be taking the initiative — speaking with their children about how social media makes them feel, limiting their screen time, and doing their best to monitor the type of content their kids are consuming. The tech giant has internal controls but parenting is and should always be the first line of defense.