In the United States, a group of 42 prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Meta. They accuse the company of making Facebook and Instagram features addictive and targeting children and teenagers, writes CNBC.
According to prosecutors, Meta designed its Facebook and Instagram products in such a way that young users stayed on them longer and came back again and again. This includes numerous notifications, messages, and endless scrolling of the feed.
However, this is not all. The platform allegedly uses features that negatively affect the mental health of adolescents through social comparison or promote body dysmorphia, which is an increased focus on body imperfections and the desire to correct them.
Meta is also accused of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal data from users under the age of 13 without parental consent.
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to stop what they consider to be Meta’s harmful practices, as well as punitive and compensatory damages. In doing so, they claim that Meta was well aware of the negative effects that its design could have on young users.
By the way, this is not the only such lawsuit. For example, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection (UDCP) sued TikTok, accusing the app of being “addictive” and harmful to children.