The state of Massachusetts launched a legal battle against Meta, with shocking allegations targeting the tech giant’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Massachusetts vs. Mark Zuckerberg
Filed in the Suffolk Superior Court, the lawsuit claims that Zuckerberg and other high-ranking Meta officials turned a blind eye to critical concerns about Instagram’s features negatively impacting users’ mental health.
The lawsuit asserts that as far back as 2019, mental health experts implored the leadership to remove plastic surgery filters from Instagram and Facebook. These requests stemmed from profound worries about the detrimental effect these filters could have on young users, particularly girls.
Camera filters, body dysmorphia
An internal email, referenced in the lawsuit, reportedly depicts Instagram’s then-head of policy urging Zuckerberg to disable these filters, citing concerns about actively promoting body dysmorphia among young girls.
However, the lawsuit claims that rather than heeding these concerns, Zuckerberg opted to permit “plastic surgery simulation camera filters” on the platforms, asserting a ‘clear demand’ for these features and purportedly denying any evidence suggesting their harm.
The lawsuit, spanning close to 100 pages, further alleges that Meta dismissed its own research highlighting the platforms’ harmful and addictive nature.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported on these distressing revelations, underlining Meta’s alleged failure to invest in improving young users’ well-being from 2018 to 2022.
“30 tools and resources”
In response to the lawsuit, a Meta spokesperson informed ABC News that the company now provides “over 30 tools and resources” intended to assist teenagers and parents in safeguarding the well-being of young users on their platforms.
This lawsuit casts a stark light on the longstanding battle between social media platforms and their longstanding impacts on mental health. As this legal battle unfolds, it is set to ignite discussions and debates about the ethical responsibilities of tech giants in shaping the well-being of their young user base.
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