Following reports of Instagram violations that have harmful effects on children and teenagers, 8 state Attorneys General coalition has started a bipartisan investigation into Instagram’s harmful effects on kids.
The group of attorneys is investigating whether Meta (Facebook) is violating state consumer protection law by putting the public at risk or not. Meta is the mother company of Instagram and investigators believe that the techniques which Meta uses for keeping young people on its platforms cause these harmful effects, including depression, eating disorder, and suicide among children and teenagers.
Since those first reports, a consortium of news organizations, including The Associated Press, have published their own findings based on documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen, who has testified before Congress and a British parliamentary committee about what she found about Meta and Instagram violations.
In a statement, Meta spokesperson, Liza Crenshaw, called the accusations “false” and said they demonstrate “a deep misunderstanding of the facts.”
“While challenges in protecting young people online impact the entire industry, we’ve led the industry in combating bullying and supporting people struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-injury, and eating disorders,” Crenshaw said in the statement.
In addition, the public employee pension fund has filed a lawsuit against Facebook for using algorithms that would cause inconvenient effects on the public.