Michigan AG joins nationwide probe into Instagram’s impact on children, young adults

‘Meta’s own internal data makes clear the negative impact social media has on users’

The Instagram app on a cellphone. (Pexels)

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday she is joining a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform Instagram to children and young adults despite knowing that such use is associated with physical and mental health harms.

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

Read more: State attorneys general probing Instagram’s effects on kids

“Rebranding your company does not excuse you from accepting responsibility for the harm inflicted by your social media platform,” Nessel said. “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.”

According to Nessel’s office, the investigation targets the techniques utilized by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement.

Whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, revealed to Congress that Facebook has known about the harms its products, specifically Instagram, cause and often did little or nothing to mitigate them.

AG Nessel’s office said she has long been concerned about the “negative impacts of social media platforms on Michigan’s youngest residents.”

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.