Social media companies such as Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), Snapchat, TikTok, and others have spent years profiting from users who have become addicted to social media. What’s worse is that many of these platforms are designed to entice young users. As a result, excessive social media use has led to harmful effects in children and young adults, from eating disorders to self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Companies like Meta have made billions by exploiting children and teens, and they should be held accountable for failing to protect young people on their platforms. If your child or teenager regularly used a social media platform for at least 3 hours each day starting before they turned 21, and they later suffered from injuries or conditions as a result, contact Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your case today. We are currently investigating cases involving social media harm and may be able to help you seek compensation.
What Are Social Media Harm Lawsuits?
In Guerrero v. Meta Platforms, Inc. et al., a woman named Jessica Guerrero, filing on behalf of a minor plaintiff, alleged that the minor’s “addictive and problematic use” of Meta platforms like Facebook and Instagram led to attempted suicide, suicidal ideation, severe anxiety, reduced ability to sleep, and eating disorders.
The basis for the lawsuit included the following factors:
- Design Defect – The social media platforms in question were unsafe for young users and could have been designed to mitigate the risk of harm to children.
- Manufacturing Defect – Meta developers failed to adhere to the original design of the platforms, which led to the platforms being less safe to use.
- Failure to Warn – The company never warned parents or young users about the physical, emotional, and mental risks of using the platforms.
- Negligence – The company was aware of the risks to young users or should have been aware of them and did not take steps to reconfigure their platforms to make them safer.
- Fraud – The company marketed its platforms as safe, even though it knew using them was dangerous to children and teens. They also kept this information from the general public.
Meta and other social media companies are designed to be addictive and present a false reality to young users regarding beauty and success, leading to low self-esteem and other adverse mental health effects. These platforms promote content encouraging young people to make negative comparisons between themselves and others.
Some noted harmful effects of excessive social media use include depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, suicidal ideation, self-harm, insomnia, fatigue, ADHD, vision loss and eye strain, and severe headaches. Instead of disclosing the potential dangers of using social media to young users and their parents or redesigning their platforms to improve safety, these platforms have put profits over people.
Social media platforms have also facilitated and failed to prevent cyberbullying and left young users vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Social media companies have not adequately policed these platforms for child sexual predators who use social media to profile and groom susceptible minors. While social media companies have attempted to moderate and remove exploitative and abusive content, their techniques have been much more reactive than proactive.
Compensation Available Through a Social Media Harm Lawsuit
If you have a child or young adult who suffered mental or physical harm due to excessive social media use, you could be entitled to recover compensation for various losses, depending on the specifics of your case:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Reduced earning capacity
- Punitive damages in some cases
Hach & Rose, LLP will work tirelessly to help you seek the maximum compensation available for the losses you and your child suffered. Contact our New York social media harm attorneys at (212) 779-0057 for a free consultation to discuss your situation and get legal advice.