Tech

Meta attacks with 8 suits claiming its algorithms pickpocketed youth and ruined their lives


Meta Platforms Inc. Now the company is at the forefront of another social media trend – lawsuits claim that the company built algorithms in its platform to appeal to young people addicted to vandalism.

Eight lawsuits filed in courts across the U.S. over the past week allege that overexposure to platforms including Facebook and Instagram has led to intentional or actual suicides, disordered eating and sleeping problems, among other problems.

“These apps may have been designed to minimize possible harm, but instead, a decision was made to target addicted teens on behalf of the company’s profits,” said attorney Andy. Birchfield, principal at Beasley Allen, the law firm that filed the lawsuit, said in a statement Wednesday.

The complaints add to the recent explosion of cases against Meta and Snap Inc., including several filed by parents of children who took their own lives. The lawsuit follows high-profile testimony by a former Facebook employee in Congress that the company refuses to take responsibility for harming the mental health of its youngest users.

A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular business hours.

In April, Meta said it was improving the tools it offers parents to track what their kids are doing on its platform. The company also says that for teenagers in particular, it will send “Take a break” reminders to push them towards different topics if they have been focused on one topic for a long time.

One of the new lawsuits filed by Naomi Charles, a 22-year-old woman, says she started using the Meta platform as a child and that her addiction led to her suicide attempt. and other sufferings.

Meta “misrepresented the safety, utility, and non-addictive nature of their products,” according to the complaint in Miami federal court.

Charles, like other users, is seeking monetary damages to compensate for his emotional distress, loss of life, and the cost of hospitalization and medical bills.

Complaints in the suit include faulty design, failure to warn, fraud, and negligence. Complaints have been filed in federal courts in Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Missouri.

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