Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, has deliberately designed social media platforms to be used by children and has retained accounts for younger users.
This was revealed in the documents of the lawsuit filed by several US states against Meta.
The case was filed in late October 2023 and new legal documents have now surfaced.
The lawsuit alleges that Meta was notified of the presence of millions of underage users on Instagram but suspended only a few accounts.
According to the documents, the presence of underage users on the company’s social media platforms is an open secret of the company.
The documents also cited an internal company email that discussed among Meta employees four accounts of a 12-year-old girl that were not deleted despite complaints from the girl’s mother.
Employees decided to drop the accounts because company representatives could not be sure the user was a minor.
Note that the minimum age for creating a Facebook or Instagram account is 13 years.
In 2021, Meta received 42,000 reports of users under the age of 13, but only 164 accounts were suspended, the documents said.
According to US states, these and other similar incidents are based on violations of the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act, which requires social media companies to obtain parental consent before collecting children’s data.
The lawsuit also alleged that Metta manufactures products that are addictive while potentially harming children.
The documents also state that several company officials have admitted that children have been exploited through the apps.
On the other hand, in this regard, the statement released by Meta said that the lawsuit misrepresented the company’s activities and that the apps contained more than 30 tools to support children and their parents.
The company said that verifying a user’s age is a very complex challenge.
In October, 40 US states filed a lawsuit against Meta, alleging that the technology company caused many mental problems, including depression, among the youth through social media.
The lawsuit said Metta glossed over the dangers of social media platforms for financial gain and exploited young users, using a business model to get young people addicted to spending too much time on social media, which could harm their mental health. Damaged.
Research has shown a link between youth use of META’s social media platforms and depression, anxiety, insomnia, interference with education and daily life, and a number of negative outcomes, the complaint states.
These states have requested the court to impose heavy fines and order compensation on Meta, but the hearing is yet to begin.