DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A federal lawsuit filed on Oct. 24 alleges a social media giant put features on their platforms that harmed young users.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost claims Meta did not care about the damage their algorithms and platforms caused young users in Ohio. He also accuses the company of lying about it.
The state joined a bipartisan effort to hold Meta accountable for damages the platforms have caused. Nearby states that have filed suit alongside Ohio include Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan.
“This twisted artificial view of life that they shoved down our throats every minute of every day,” Yost said.
The lawsuit alleges Meta violated state consumer protection practices by making the public believe the social media platforms were safe for children and teens. It goes on to claim the company was aware of users under the age of 13 and collected their data without parental consent.
Documents also claim Meta’s practices continue to harm the mental and physical well being of its young users.
“And the worst thing is you could look at their own records,” says Yost. “They had their own research that said this is bad for mental health for kids, particularly teenage girls. And they didn’t care. They suppressed it.”
Now, Ohio is calling for change and for Meta to prioritize health and safety, rather than profits.
“It’s time for them to be held accountable and to be socially responsible, not just racing to the next big thing, trying to increase their market share, trying to increase their platform. It’s time for them to start doing the right thing and slow it down a little bit, worry about what the impacts are going to be.”
Meta released a statement on the lawsuit. You can read a portion of it below:
We’re disappointed that instead of working productively with companies across the industry to create clear, age-appropriate standards for the many apps teens use, the attorneys general have chosen this path.”Meta
The lawsuit also claims the algorithms used were made so users spent more time on the apps pushing users into never ending “rabbit holes.”