Instagram’s effects on children being probed by US states

Social media platform Instagram is largely focused on photos and subjects’ appearance

Instagram’s effects on children being probed by US states

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock

New Delhi, November 19

A bipartisan coalition of several US state attorneys general has launched a probe into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, over the parent company’s social media platform Instagram’s effects on kids, Fox Business reported.

The Wall Street Journal which first reported the investigation, said that there are at least eight states involved, and that the probe revolves around “the techniques used by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement.”

In a statement announcing the “nationwide” investigation, Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said, “When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws”, Fox News reported.

Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement of her own while declaring she had joined the coalition, “Doesn’t make a difference if you call it Instagram, Facebook, or Meta, the fact still remains the same: These social media platforms are extremely dangerous and have been proven to cause both physical and mental harm in young people.”

“Time and again, (Meta CEO) Mark Zuckerberg and the companies he run have put profits over safety, but our investigation seeks to end that behaviour,” James continued. “Our coalition will not hesitate to take whatever action is necessary to protect children and young adults from the harms Instagram and other social media platforms risk to so many.”

The report said the investigation comes after The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Instagram’s own internal research indicates that the platform, which is largely focused on photos and subjects’ appearance, could have a negative impact on a substantial percentage of users—particularly those with issues surrounding body image, like young girls.

In response to the investigation, a Meta spokesperson told Fox Business in a statement, “These accusations are false and 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.” — IANS

Tribune Shorts


Top Stories

India’s first Omicron cases: One is South African, second a local doctor with no travel history

India’s first Omicron cases: One is South African, second a local doctor with no travel history

Five contacts of doctor also test positive and their samples...

India's first two Omicron cases detected in Karnataka, says government

India's first two Omicron cases detected in Karnataka

Govt says need not panic about Omicron detection but awarene...

Supreme Court slams Delhi govt over ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ campaign

Supreme Court sets 24-hour deadline for govt to come up with concrete measures on air pollution

Bench hints at setting up task force; pulls up Delhi govt fo...

Delhi schools to be closed from Friday till further orders due to pollution

Delhi schools to be closed till further orders due to pollution

The decision comes after the Supreme Court on Thursday pulls...

Cities

View All