The Point

The Point

The Point

Meta’s Instagram and Facebook Face Lawsuit from 33 States

(Graphic by Sloane Houterman)

On Oct. 24, 2023, 33 states, including California, filed a lawsuit against Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, alleging a series of violations of law in their treatment of the youth. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta alleged that Meta violates several federal and state laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law and California’s False Advertising Law. 

“Our bipartisan investigation has arrived at a solemn conclusion: Meta has been harming our children and teens, cultivating addiction to boost corporate profits,” Bonta said in a press release. 

Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that Meta knew the harm it was causing to the youth, hid that information and publicly released false reports that indicated that their products were not harming teens.

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Many of the allegations found in the lawsuit rang true with PVHS sophomore Maven Ding. 

“Many other teens, including myself, have spent countless hours scrolling on Instagram. I know that it has definitely altered my life and mental health negatively, but I can’t stop myself from going back to it,” Ding said.

Palos Verdes High School Sage therapist Jennifer Shannon has experience in dealing with the negative effects of social media as alleged to be caused by Meta’s social media platforms.  

In her years of practice, she has seen teenagers experience “[a] fear of missing out, low self esteem, comparing themselves to others, difficulty being in the present moment [and] difficulty finding joy in the day-to-day.”

The impact of social media certainly varies from person to person, but as a generality Shannon believes that everyone who uses these products should “create boundaries with social media, for example be mindful of the amount of time you are on social media and the content you are consuming. It is not a good thing to start your day off by comparing yourself to others.”  

The investigation and cooperation of State Attorney Generals nationwide will be ongoing as throughout the litigation Meta’s practices will be heavily scrutinized. 

As Bonta stated in a press release, “[with today’s lawsuit, we are drawing the line. We must protect our children and we will not back down from this fight. I am grateful for the collaboration of my fellow state attorneys general in standing up for our children and holding Meta accountable.”

About the Contributor
Sloane Houterman, Reporter