AG Nessel joins Nationwide Investigation into Instagram’s impact on young people

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) –Michigan Attorney General (AG) Dana Nessel says she has long been concerned about the negative impacts of social media platforms on Michigan’s youngest residents.

Recently, research has displayed and backed up these concerns, showcasing the negative results with physical and mental health harms, Nessel says.

A nationwide investigation is underway into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform, Instagram, to children and young adults despite knowing these harmful results. This is why today, AG Nessel joined the investigation.

In May, AG Nessel was a part of a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general urging Facebook to dismiss its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13. 

Attorneys General across the country are examining whether the company violated state consumer protection laws and put the public at risk. 

“Rebranding your company does not excuse you from accepting responsibility for the harm inflicted by your social media platform. As recent congressional testimony has shown us, Meta’s own internal data makes clear the negative impact social media has on users, especially our youth, while the company profits. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this investigation. Given it is newly launched and ongoing, I will not be discussing any specifics beyond this announcement.” 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

The investigation is looking in depth at the techniques used by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users. It is also looking at the negative impacts these techniques have had resulting in harms caused by such extended engagement.

Meta’s own research displays that using and being on Instagram is linked with an increased risk of physical and mental health harms on young people.

These risks that are associated include: depression, eating disorders and even suicide.

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