Millions of teenagers use Facebook and Instagram every day, and doing so may cause them harm. Leaked internal research shows Meta knew its platforms could cause self-esteem and mental health issues among its teenage user base. Yet it never addressed the problem. Our Meta lawsuit attorneys in Rhode Island are taking action to hold the company accountable.
If you have a case against Meta, call The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. today for a free consultation. You can reach our office at (401) 751-8855. We will help you understand your rights and explain your legal options.
What is the Meta Lawsuit?
The parents of a 12-year-old girl from Kentucky recently filed a lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. They allege that their daughter’s “addictive” Instagram usage led to her developing an eating disorder. They also say their daughter engaged in self-harm and experienced thoughts of suicide as Instagram took a toll on her self-esteem and physical health.
This lawsuit referenced the Facebook Papers. Whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked these documents to the public in 2021. The papers make it clear that Meta knew Instagram was causing body image and self-esteem issues among young users. They also show that Instagram is especially toxic for teenage girls. According to the Wall Street Journal, a Facebook study found that 32 percent of teenage girls who had a negative view of their bodies felt even worse about their body image after using Instagram. The report also noted that 14 percent of boys experienced lowered self-esteem after using the platform.
Internal studies demonstrated that a majority of teens were not negatively affected by Instagram. Still, researchers found that many of Instagram’s fundamental features were also some of the most likely to cause harm. For example, Instagram’s Explore feature may lure teenagers into viewing content that hurts their self-esteem. So far, Instagram and its parent company Meta have failed to deal with this issue while also increasing engagement.
Attorneys filed the Meta lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in early June. The plaintiffs allege that their daughter signed up for Instagram at age 11 (Instagram has a minimum age requirement of 13). They say the platform’s AI directed her to content that glorified eating disorders and self-harm while facilitating her addiction to the platform.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs say this is the first civil action to heavily reference the Facebook Papers and demonstrate the real-world effect of Meta’s inaction. The lawsuit also alleges that Meta specifically targeted younger users for their platforms. Haugen’s leaked documents back up this assertion. Through their research, the company knew about its platforms’ effect on young kids and failed to resolve the issue. In fact, they continued to operate as if the problem did not exist.
Compensation Available Through a Meta Lawsuit
The compensation you could recover through a Meta lawsuit depends on the harm your teen suffered. This compensation may include money for losses such as:
- Medical expenses related to treating your teen’s eating disorder, self-inflicted injuries, and other physical conditions (i.e., hospital bills, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, and rehabilitative care)
- Mental health counseling costs
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues
- Wrongful death, if you lost your teen because of their interaction with Meta’s Instagram or Facebook
The Meta lawsuit filed in California is the first of its kind. That’s why it is crucial to hire an experienced civil litigation attorney to handle your case. At The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd., our skilled trial lawyers are intimately familiar with the Facebook Papers and Meta’s policies. We also have extensive experience advocating for our clients in various civil actions.
You are not required to retain legal counsel. Still, you stand a much better chance of winning your case and securing compensation by hiring an attorney. Our lawyers have the knowledge and resources to provide you with competent legal advice. We can fiercely defend your child’s rights in court and build a strong case for financial relief on your behalf.
How You Can Protect Your Children From Social Media
Concerned about how your teenager’s social media usage may impact their mental and physical health? There are steps you can take to protect them. Some common signs of social media addiction include:
- Inability to concentrate on other activities because of social media use
- Decreased interest in real-world activities and relationships
- Visiting social media sites constantly
- Checking social media when it is dangerous to do so, such as when operating a vehicle
If you think your child is addicted to social media, taking action could keep them from further harm. Consider taking away their cellphone for charging at night, setting limits on the amount of time your child spends on their phone, utilizing parental control software, and asking your child for their password so that you can access their device if necessary. While no parent wants to be overbearing, it’s a good idea to set boundaries regarding your child’s daily social media usage.
Contact a Rhode Island Meta Lawsuit Lawyer Today
If you believe your teen suffered physical or mental harm because of Meta’s inaction, you might qualify for a civil lawsuit against the company. Meta has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its users. The leaked internal studies show that the company did not resolve the problems that harmed its users. Instead, it did nothing.
Contact The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. for a free consultation. We will review your situation, determine whether you have a claim, and advise you on your options. Reach out to our Rhode Island Meta lawsuit attorneys at (401) 751-8855 for an appointment.