The Five Instagram Features that States Say Ruin Teens' Mental Health
These features allegedly helped Meta deceptively hook teens
In 2019, Instagram’s top executive, Adam Mosseri, went on TV to describe how the Meta-owned social media app was “rethinking the whole experience” to prioritize the “well-being” of users above all else. Today, a bipartisan group of attorneys general representing 42 U.S. states alleged in a series of lawsuits that Mosseri’s remarks were part of a decade-long pattern of deceit by Meta that claimed Instagram and Facebook were safe, while they in fact did young people harm.
The suits claim Meta put user engagement ahead of user safety. "Despite overwhelming internal research, independent expert analysis and publicly available data that its social media platforms harm young users, Meta still refuses to abandon its use of known harmful features—and has instead redoubled its efforts to misrepresent, conceal and downplay the impact of those features on young users' mental and physical health," alleges the main lawsuit, led by Colorado and Tennessee. About 22 million U.S. teenagers use Instagram daily, it says.
Meta spokesperson Liza Crenshaw says the company has introduced over 30 tools, such as parental controls and usage limiters, to support young users who, she notes, also suffer from growing academic pressure, rising income inequality and limited mental healthcare services.
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