(The Center Square)– Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, along with 41 other state attorneys general, announced lawsuits against Meta on Tuesday in hopes to mitigate addictive and harmful social media risks to young users.
The attorneys general argue that features like “infinite” scrolling, visual filters, perpetual notifications and the exposure to potentially harmful content is something that Meta is deliberately aware of.
“Its algorithms purposely push users into descending rabbit holes in order to maximize engagement,” Mayes said.
“These manipulative tactics continually lure children and teens back into the platform,” she added.
The federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as well as other consumer protection laws, are cited as the ones allegedly being violated by the Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook.
Mayes said that Meta is aware that some of its users are under the age of 13, and says that they have not done enough to effectively combat children lying about their age in order to have access to their platforms.
Meta expressed their disagreement with the lawsuit by claiming to have already taken many actions to help limit the risks presented to young users, according to Reuters.
The attorneys general are hoping Meta will limit features such as “likes” and autoplay and “infinite scroll” for children.
“Obviously, the age gating issue is one that we’re gonna have to address through the litigation. And what is the appropriate age for kids on social media,” Mayes said.
In terms of potential lawsuits against platforms, she did say that there is an investigation underway on TikTok, which also had a similar infinite scroll feature for content.
Arizona’s lawsuit is with 33 other states in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, but several other states, like Tennessee and Massachusetts, have opted to file lawsuits at the state level.
The attorney general recommended that while social media does have some benefits for young people, she did suggest that parents keep them off the platforms for as long as possible.
High use of social media usage among teens can lead to issues involving sleep and mental health, according to Mayo Clinic.