The Dark Side of Social Media: Lawsuits Involving Popular Social Media Apps in the U.S.
Social media is a means to facilitate anti-social activities – it’s an ironic fact. And things are even worse now. Other than privacy concerns, the effect of these platforms on mental health is particularly alarming.
Per a report in 2022, the U.S. has around 302 million of the approximately 4.9 billion global social media users. While higher figures in 2023 may not be distressing, the increase in social media victims and lawsuits most certainly is.
Here are the major lawsuits against the top social media applications in the U.S.:
Social Media Lawsuits That Will Make You Reconsider Your Social Media Usage
With so many social media victims and lawsuits being instituted, it is now clear that social media has a darker side than one would have thought.
Here is a list of some of the most significant of them in the U.S.:
Indiana’s Lawsuits Against TiktTok
TikTok has often been subject to scrutiny, especially related to the availability of mature content on it. U.S. officials have been attempting to ban the app since the events of 2020. It was only recently that they have been successful in restricting federal and certain state employees from using it.
This is a result of several recent developments, of which this lawsuit has a part. In December 2022, the attorney general of Indiana sued the application because it exposed children to mature content and allowed China access to user data.
The office of the attorney general has instituted two separate lawsuits, seeking penalties of $5000 for each violation.
Mental Health Lawsuit Against Instagram
Instagram is a popular social media application through which many new influencers have found success and fame. However, parents and guardians from all over the U.S. are complaining that using the app (alongside others like Facebook) has adverse effects on the mental health of their children. The mental health of especially teens and adolescent girls is the most endangered.
Plaintiffs across the U.S. need professional representation in their legal fight against Instagram for its harmful effects. These include depression, ADHD, eating disorders, anxiety, and others. Hence various law firms are coming to their rescue.
If you, someone in your family, or a companion is fighting any of these mental health problems due to Instagram use, you’ll also need reliable legal assistance to file an Instagram lawsuit. TorHoerman Law, LLC is a law firm on whose website one may find the sort of damages that such a lawsuit can recover. These include medical and treatment costs, pain and suffering, and emotional damage.
The concern from parents and the grounds for the lawsuit seem to be genuine. But the part that attorneys and law firms will play is going to be crucial for a desirable outcome of this social media lawsuit.
Eight Lawsuits Against Meta
Both Instagram and Facebook are owned by Meta, a company that faced not one but eight lawsuits in June 2022. The charges against the social media company were that it was extensively making its two products, Facebook and Instagram, addictive to the younger audience. The motive was indeed considered to gain profits.
One of the mothers that filed a lawsuit claimed that her 15-year-old child developed suicidal and self-harm tendencies due to the heavy use of the app. Like the lawsuit on Instagram, some conditions common here were anxiety, depression, and poor sleep.
This was not the first time Meta faced a lawsuit. Also, leaked documents attest to the fact that the company had erstwhile knowledge of the ill effects it was causing in the younger users.
Class Action Lawsuit Against Snapchat
Snapchat, a popular photo-sharing platform, is expected to have a user base exceeding 500 million users in 2024. The USA comes second to India in the most users, and it, too, has had its fair share of trials.
The Illinois class action litigation is a noteworthy instance where Snapchat was accused of wrongfully collecting and storing biometric information through certain features. This violated Illinois’ BIPA (Biometric Information and Privacy Act).
Snapchat had to pay $35 million as a settlement to the affected social media victims in August 2022.
Social Media Can Undergo Positive Changes in 2023
The creation of helpful and wholesome content is a major trend in social media that users can hope to witness in 2023 and further. Although, what will be most appreciable is the reduction of the harmful effects that popular apps are known to spread.
The censorship and liability of the various social media platforms can only do so much. As consumers, we must be aware of whether the content we and those around us are consuming is suitable for our mental health and well-being.