Vermont files lawsuit against Meta
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated Vermont filed a multistate lawsuit against the tech company Meta. In fact, Vermont is among a handful of states that have filed individual lawsuits in their respective state courts. A coalition of other states have collectively filed a federal lawsuit. The state of Florida has also filed its own federal lawsuit.
The state of Vermont has filed a lawsuit against Meta, claiming the tech company knowingly designed Instagram to be addictive for young people.
Attorney General Charity Clark says the the social media platform is exacerbating a mental health crisis among young Vermonters. She says the app promotes bullying, unwanted sexual advances and negative social comparisons.
The lawsuit points to Instagram's algorithm, which it says pushes users into a rabbit hole — and it cites features like infinite scrolling and daily alerts.
At a press conference Tuesday. Clark said Meta is prioritizing advertising revenue in violation of the Vermont Consumer Protection Act — which prohibits unfair and deceptive business practices. She cited data from an internal Meta study that was recently leaked to the Wall Street Journal.
“Of teens aged 13 to 17 who felt alone or lonely, 21% said the feeling started on Instagram. ... Despite all of this, Meta maintains Instagram as is, and publicly promotes the narrative that Instagram is neither addictive nor harmful to teens," Clark said.
Vermont is among a handful of states bringing individual suits forward in state courts. Several dozen states have also collectively filed a lawsuit in federal court, and the state of Florida has filed its own federal suit.
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