Despite the political polarization in the United States, there is a rare bipartisan agreement among lawmakers regarding Meta’s negative impact on children and teenagers. A coalition of 33 attorneys general, including both Democrats and Republicans, has filed a joint federal lawsuit against Meta (formerly Facebook). The lawsuit accuses Meta of knowingly implementing addictive features across its family of apps, contributing to children’s mental health issues and problems like teenage eating disorders.
The attorneys general argue that social media companies, such as Meta, are responsible for the record levels of poor mental health among children and teenagers. The lawsuit alleges that Meta intentionally designed its platforms with manipulative features that make children addicted to their platforms while lowering their self-esteem.
The bipartisan nature of this legal action is noteworthy, considering the current political climate in the United States. Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, stated that Meta has profited from children’s pain. On the Republican side, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti expressed agreement with the bipartisan effort, highlighting the unusual alignment of attorneys general from both parties.
This unity comes at a time when political dysfunction is evident, particularly in the House of Representatives, which has been without a Speaker for three weeks. Despite broader political disagreements, there seems to be consensus among lawmakers when it comes to concerns about Meta.
While Democrats often focus on data privacy scandals, and Republicans emphasize content moderation policies, both parties converge on the harmful effects of social media on children. The lawsuit aims to compel Meta to change its practices, emphasizing the vulnerability of children to cyberbullying and online predators on the platform. The bipartisan legal action underscores the shared concerns about the impact of social media platforms on the mental health and well-being of young users.
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