Instagram, TikTok Cause Mental Health Problems in Teens?
Plaintiffs in lawsuit take aim at social media platforms’ product features, alleging that the companies amplify dangerous content that prioritizes engagement over safety, according to a reporter from THR.com.
Meta, TikTok and Snap were each hit with a new lawsuit accusing them of fueling mental health disorders in teenage users. The plaintiffs are among a wave of parents and their children that are taking social media platforms to court arguing that the companies not only hook users but do so knowing the harms they pose.
The lawsuits — the latest in a string of cases linking social media to mental health problems in minors — assert product liability claims to get around Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law shielding tech companies from liability arising from content produced by third parties. They advance a theory arguing that platforms like Facebook are essentially defective products that lead to injuries, including eating disorders, anxiety and suicide. At least 20 such lawsuits have been filed across the country citing the Facebook Papers, a trove of internal company documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen last year, with dozens more expected to come.
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[Featured photo courtesy of “Instagram and other Social Media Apps” by Jason A. Howie is licensed under CC BY 2.0.]