A 19-year-old girl and her family are suing social media giant Meta, claiming that it knowingly created ‘addictive’ features that caused her to develop an eating disorder and suicidal feelings at a young age.
The first-of-its-kind lawsuit, filed Monday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, relies heavily on a trove of leaked internal Meta documents that revealed the tech giant knew Instagram was harmful to young girls’ mental health.
The lawsuit, obtained by DailyMail.com, was filed by the Social Media Victims Law Center, a Seattle-based group that advocates for families of teens harmed online, on behalf of 19-year-old Alexis Spence – who created her first Instagram account at the age of 11 without her parents’ consent and in violation of the platform’s minimum age requirement of 13.
It alleges that Instagram’s artificial intelligence steered the then fifth-grader to accounts glorifying anorexia and self-cutting, while the platform also rolled out new features designed to make the app more addictive.
Spence has been hospitalized for depression, anxiety and anorexia as a result, her lawyers argue and ‘fights to stay in recovery everyday’ as a result of ‘the harmful content and features Instagram relentlessly promoted and provided to her.’
Instagram officials declined to comment when approached by DailyMail.com.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Melissa Koenig