Meyers & Flowers attorney Peter Flowers and Alabama-based law firm Beasley Allen recently brought 11 lawsuits against Meta Platforms, Inc., the parent company of social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram. Filed by parents on behalf of their minor children, the lawsuits seek to hold Meta accountable for its exploitation of young users. The complaints assert Meta intentionally incorporated technologies into their websites that would result in extended use – and overuse – of Meta social media websites by children and teenagers. The lawsuits further allege that the developing and impressionable teenage brain cannot recognize when their social media habits have crossed over from amusement to addiction, and the endless supply of social media content has had damaging consequences on the young plaintiffs including withdrawal from friends and family; lack of social and academic advancement; inability to focus; physical health problems such as headaches, migraines, loss of vision, and eye strain; and mental health ailments such as anxiety, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, depression, self-harm, and suicide.
Meta’s history with young users
Meta Platforms and its Facebook and Instagram branches, specifically, have faced growing public scrutiny over its lukewarm attempts to prevent teenage users from accessing content on its social media outlets. The 1998 implementation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or “COPPA,” regulates the conditions under which commercial websites that target children under age 13 or have actual knowledge of children under age 13 using their site can collect and use information about them. While Meta states that children under the age of 13 are prohibited from having Meta accounts, Meta lacks effective age-verification procedures and has known that its age-verification tools are inadequate: Meta estimates that it removes 20,000 children under age 13 from Facebook every day. Further, Meta has shown no interest in slowing its pursuit of young users, viewing teens and tweens as a “valuable but untapped audience” according to a Wall Street Journal investigative report. Meta has not found an effective solution to the abundance of underage social media accounts on its platforms, and Meta has also failed to adequately resolve the glaring mental and physical dangers that are posed to uninterrupted, unmonitored, and infinite access to social media platforms by young audiences.
We’re on your side
While other law firms may be intimidated by going after a multibillion, multinational company like Meta, Meyers & Flowers has a long history of pursuing justice for victims of large companies and holding those companies accountable for their negligent actions. If your child has had negative experiences on any of Meta’s platform or exhibited any of the following behaviors:
- Withdrawal from friends and family,
- Lack of social and academic advancement,
- Inability to focus,
- Physical health problems such as headaches, migraines, loss of vision, and eye strain,
- Mental health ailments such as anxiety, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, depression, self-harm, and suicide,
Call (630) 576-9696 for a free case evaluation.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.