Instagram Slapped With New Lawsuits For Serious Reasons

Instagram is the focal point in two new lawsuits that allege the platform had a seriously negative impact on two young girls.

By Kristi Eckert | Published


Just prior to its Meta rebrand, Facebook was facing serious public and legal scrutiny. Its woes arose following revealing testimony from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. Haugen alleged that Facebook willingly and knowingly had knowledge of how harmful and addictive its platforms could be to young people and chose to do little to nothing about it. Particular emphasis was placed on Instagram and the negative effects that it could have. Media coverage of the disturbing and revealing allegations have since cooled. However, recent events have put a renewed spotlight on Facebook. CNET reported that Facebook-owned Instagram is the focus of two new lawsuits. 

Similar to the revelations to come out of Haugen’s testimony earlier in the year, the two new lawsuits allege that Instagram serves as the “perfect storm of addiction, social comparison, and exposure to incredibly harmful content and product features.” Both suits were filed in a Northern California federal court by two separate families from Kentucky. The families are being represented by the Social Media Victims Law Center. 

At present, all the details pertaining to how these families have been directly impacted by Instagram and its potential to facilitate addictive behaviors and harmful thoughts have yet to emerge. However, the filing did emphasize Intagram’s propensity to perpetuate such circumstances. It also makes specific mention of Facebook’s continued negligence. The lawsuit cites that even after the information came to light by means of a whistleblower testimony the social media conglomerate is still prioritizing “cost-benefit business decisions” and “astronomical profits over human life.” 

Additionally, the lawsuit also makes mention of the revelations first brought to light by the Wall Street Journal regarding the specific effects Instagram can have on the psyche of young girls. The Wall Street Journal’s report even alluded to the platform’s potential to contribute to teen girls developing eating disorders. The mention of such prior evidence relates directly to the case. Both families are alleging that their young teenage daughters, who both joined the platform as 12-year-olds, have developed eating disorders as a result of engaging with Instagram and its content. Both girls were hospitalized as a result of their eating disorders. One girl’s case was so severe that a feeding tube needed to be used to get her the nutrients that she had been depriving her body of.   

In response to the latest lawsuits filed against Instagram, Facebook has maintained that it has been taking significant steps to rectify the harmful potentials deeply seated in its platform. The company pointed to the eating disorder resources that they have implemented. Additionally, Facebook highlighted that it recently added new parental control features in March and is continuing to test out different feeds to mitigate addiction and other harmful risks associated with Instagram and its other platforms. 

Despite their purported efforts, however, lawsuits against Facebook keep getting filed. The newest two against Instagram join at least nine others that are currently being litigated. The other known lawsuits also directly pertain to the negative effects that Facebook’s platforms have on young people. At this point, it is unclear whether or not the collective efforts of the alleged victims and their families will have any effect on how Facebook continues to let its platforms operate.