Meta is again facing backlash regarding the addiction of Instagram in the younger generation. According to the latest reports, two new lawsuits have been filed against Instagram’s parent company Meta alleging that the service harms mental health, especially among teens and children. It is not the first time when Insta is facing allegations of causing harmful mental health effects on teenagers.
Does Addiction of Instagram Really Cause Harmful Mental Health Effects?
Instagram is a photo-and-video sharing app that has been facing allegations that its platform causes harmful mental health effects including depression, eating disorders, and suicide attempts especially in the younger generation. Sources claim that two families from Kentucky, represented by the Social Media Victims Law Center, have recently filed a pair of lawsuits on Monday against Meta in a federal court in Northern California. The lawsuits have accused Meta of prioritizing user engagement over safety. It was alleged of creating a perfect platform for addiction, social comparison, and exposure to incredibly harmful content for the people.
The lawsuits stated that:
“Despite knowledge of the dangerous and harmful characteristics of its product, Meta has made and continues to make calculated cost-benefit business decisions and is consistently prioritizing their already astronomical profits over human life.”
Frances Haugen, a Facebook product manager turned whistleblower and leaked internal research including the harmful impacts the app could have on teen girls. After that, lawsuits were filed against Instagram. In addition to that, the lawsuits also cite some of those documents. Insta is alleged not doing enough to combat any potentially harmful mental health impacts. Furthermore, Instagram also exposed two of the plaintiffs. According to the lawsuits, both were 12 when they joined the app. It not only led to eating disorders but also made them think they weren’t good enough. As a result, both girls attempted suicide, and one had to use a feeding tube because she kept refusing to eat while hospitalized.
Let’s see what will be the social giant’s next step regarding this serious issue. Will Meta prioritize safety over engagement? The social media giant needs to answer many questions. Let’s wait and watch what comes next. Till then stay tuned.