Attorneys General Concerned for Safety and Well-Being of Children; Examining Potential Violations of Consumer Protection Laws
FRANKFORT, Ky. (November 18, 2021) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron today announced that he is co-leading a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform – Instagram – to children and young adults despite knowing that such use is associated with physical and mental health harms. Attorneys General across the country are examining whether the company violated state consumer protection laws and put the public at risk.
“Protecting the welfare of our children is one of our highest callings as a society, and we can leave no stone unturned when it comes to ensuring the safety of our youngest Kentuckians,” said Attorney General Cameron. “After troubling reports surrounding Instagram’s harmful effects on young people, it’s important for us to further examine the company’s actions.”
The investigation targets, among other things, the techniques utilized by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement. Today’s announcement follows recent reports revealing that Meta’s own internal research shows that using Instagram is associated with increased risks of physical and mental health harms on young people, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide.
Attorney General Cameron has long been concerned about the negative impacts of social media platforms on Kentucky’s youngest residents. In May, he joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general in urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
Leading the investigation, involving a broad group of states across the country, is a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general, including Attorney General Cameron and attorneys general from California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont.