Alleging their daughter developed an Instagram addiction that led to an eating disorder and other mental health issues, the parents of a teenager living in New York City have sued Meta.
According to the lawsuit, Alexis started using Instagram two years earlier than the minimum age requirement of 13 for the platform.
She failed to notify her parents Kathleen and Jeff Spence according to a filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
She soon developed “addiction, anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, and ultimately suicidal thoughts.”
His parents claimed that they “have been emotionally and financially harmed by Meta’s addictive design and the continued harmful distribution and/or provision of multiple Instagram accounts to their minor child”.
Kathleen Spence told ABC News “Having Alexis here is truly a miracle because we fought tooth and nail for her.”
“We did everything we could for her. We got her the help she needed on many levels, and there were times when we were very concerned for her safety.”
“When I’m 11, what else should I do but keep watching this content?” Spence said.
“And when you’re told everyday, ‘That’s how [to] look pretty…that’s what you’re supposed to look like, what am i thinking? I was a child,” she added.
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Frances Haugen, a former product manager at the tech company, had also claimed that Meta was compromising with policies aimed at making a profit.
According to Kathleen, “When Alexis started going on Instagram without our consent or knowledge at age 11, we had no idea what was going on.”
“We just know our daughter was disappearing. Slowly, piece by piece, we were losing our confident, loving child, and she was becoming depressed, angry, withdrawn.”
Documents leaked by Haugen suggested the executives knew their platforms could fuel hate speech and harm the mental health of young people.
(With agency contributions)
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Post expires at 3:00pm on Monday June 20th, 2022