META’S INSTAGRAM LINKED TO DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, INSOMNIA IN KIDS – US states’ lawsuit claims Meta’s, younger consumers may help secure more advertisers.

Dozens of U.S. states are suing Meta Platforms and its Instagram unit, accusing them of fueling a youth mental health crisis by making their social media platforms addictive. In a complaint filed on Tuesday October 24th, the attorneys general of 33 states including California and New York said Meta, which also operates Facebook, repeatedly misled the public about the dangers of its platforms, and knowingly induced young children and teenagers into addictive and compulsive social media use.

“Meta has harnessed powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens,” according to the complaint filed in the Oakland, California federal court. “Its motive is profit.”

Children have long been an appealing demographic for businesses, which hope to attract them as consumers at ages when they may be more impressionable, and solidify brand loyalty.

For Meta, younger consumers may help secure more advertisers who hope children will keep buying their products as they grow up.

But the states said research has associated children’s use of Meta’s social media platforms with “depression, anxiety, insomnia, interference with education and daily life, and many other negative outcomes.”

Meta said it was “disappointed” in the lawsuit.

Eight other U.S. states and Washington, D.C. are filing similar lawsuits against Meta on Tuesday, bringing the total number of authorities taking action against the Menlo Park, California-based company to 42.