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Tags: florida | ashley moody | newsmax | meta | lawsuit | social media

Fla. AG to Newsmax: Lawsuit Against Meta to Stop 'Harm to Children'

By    |   Wednesday, 25 October 2023 01:01 PM EDT

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told Newsmax Wednesday that dozens of states have brought a lawsuit against Meta for allegedly contributing to a youth mental health crisis through addictive social media platforms.

“I'm an attorney general, but, first and foremost, I am a mother of a young son,” Moody said during an appearance on Newsmax’s “National Report.” “I think many parents have watched, oftentimes feeling desperate, to try and do something as children are constantly barraged with alerts and applications and platforms that are pulling them back online and really, that is what this lawsuit is about.

"It is about really two things: that the business model and the platform is designed to addict children to maximize their time spent on those platforms — and they do that many ways as they develop certain algorithms — and then they monetize that, they barrage them with advertisements, and at the same time, they're mining their data.

“This is a violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, a violation of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act,” she continued. “You can't do that while, at the same time, assuring the public that your products are safe for children.

"We know that platforms, we know that the online space is not going away. In fact, in many ways, having technology has made it easier to do business and for people to socialize. But what we can't have is products that are designed specifically in a way that is doing harm to children, and when the opposite is being told to parents in the community at large.”

In a complaint filed in Oakland, California, federal court, 33 states accuse Meta, which operates Facebook and Instagram, of repeatedly misleading the public about the dangers of its platforms and knowingly causing addictive and compulsive social media use among young children and teenagers.

"Meta has harnessed powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens," the complaint said. "Its motive is profit."

The lawsuit seeks a number of remedies, including sizable civil penalties.

In an emailed statement, Meta said it tries to create a safe environment for teens online.

"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," the company said.

Moody said that the U.S. surgeon general has warned of “severe health consequences” for children who use social media excessively.

“Florida's action, as well as dozens of states around the country, is designed for injunctive relief to stop these practices and seek damages for those that have been harmed,” she said.

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Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told Newsmax Wednesday that dozens of states have brought a lawsuit against Meta for allegedly contributing to a youth mental health crisis through addictive social media platforms. "I'm an attorney general, but, first and foremost, I am...
florida, ashley moody, newsmax, meta, lawsuit, social media
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2023-01-25
Wednesday, 25 October 2023 01:01 PM
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