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Lawsuit Claims Meta Designed Instagram, Facebook to Hook Kids

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The Meta, Facebook, and Instagram logos.

Meta said it favors shifting the burden of policing underage usage to app stores and parents.

Credit: Meta

Facebook parent Meta Platforms deliberately engineered its social platforms to hook kids and knew — but never disclosed — it had received millions of complaints about underage users on Instagram but only disabled a fraction of those accounts, according to a newly unsealed legal complaint described in reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

The complaint, originally made public in redacted form, was the opening salvo in a lawsuit filed in late October by the attorneys general of 33 states.

Company documents cited in the complaint described several Meta officials acknowledging the company designed its products to exploit shortcomings in youthful psychology such as impulsive behavior, susceptibility to peer pressure and the underestimation of risks, according to the reports.

Others acknowledged Facebook and Instagram also were popular with children under age 13 who, per company policy, were not allowed to use the service.

From CBS Bay Area
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