CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — A mother in Castle Rock has filed a lawsuit against Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram.
Her attorney told FOX31 that her 14-year-old daughter’s health has been affected by exposure to the social media platforms.
The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Malinda Harris, said her daughter has shown suicidal tendencies and other self-harm and the lawsuit alleges it stems from business practices Facebook has been aware of for years.
“They have, for quite some time now, prioritized profit over user safety,” said Clinton Richardson, Harris’ attorney.
Meta accused of ‘psychological hacks’
In the lawsuit, Harris claims her daughter was a victim of the company’s business practices.
“They are well aware of a variety of psychological hacks that the general public is not aware of,” Richardson said. “Things that will make it very enticing, unknowingly enticing, for individuals to want to use these platforms.”
Harris claims her daughter has been harmed by exposure to these practices, leading to several physical and mental health issues.
“Multiple suicide attempts that we believe are all fairly attributable to prolonged exposure,” Richardson said.
Richardson, of the Beasley Allen Law Firm in Alabama, said the teen has hurt herself.
“Burning herself and cutting herself…she’s been diagnosed with at least one eating disorder as well as depression and anxiety,” Richardson said.
The Problem Solvers posed the question to Harris’ attorney: Is there anything the teen’s parents could have done to prevent the harm they say she’s done to herself?
“It’s not as simple as looking to the parents and saying that you should have done more to intervene,” Richardson said.
Meta has admitted awareness of harms
Last year, leaked internal memos from the company revealed they were aware of the impact content from their platforms had on teenage girls, going as far as to state girls who felt bad about their bodies felt worse when they used Instagram.
Richardson said Harris is exploring options for compensation as part of this lawsuit but hopes for accountability more than anything else.
FOX31 reached out to Meta and Facebook for comment on this case. They had not replied to our requests at the time of this publication.