A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.10.2021
The Facebook Papers
In October, a consortium of 17 US news organisations began publishing a series of stories on Facebook based on thousands of pages of the organisation's internal documents that were earlier disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen.

State Attorneys General Launch Investigation Into Instagram's Potential Harm for Kids

© AP Photo / Mark LennihanThe Instagram logo is displayed on an electronic screen at a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 in New York for the introduction of Instagram Direct.
The Instagram logo is displayed on an electronic screen at a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 in New York for the introduction of Instagram Direct.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.11.2021
The move comes after Meta's own internal research reportedly suggested that using Instagram is linked to elevated risks of physical and mental health impairments in young people, particularly girls, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide.
An investigation into the impact of Meta Platforms Inc., previously known as Facebook Inc., owned Instagram on minors and teenagers was launched by a group of state attorneys general on Thursday.
The states of California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia, are all part of the probe, which includes more than 11 states already.

"This activity is harming our young people. Meta’s own documents show that. So they know what’s going on- they know the mental health risks for young users on Instagram, most notably teenage girls," Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III said in a press release. "What we have seen from our research, media accounts and even Congressional testimony confirms our position that Meta is not going to self-correct or police itself. An investigation by the states is necessary and underway."

The bipartisan state AGs' probe also focuses on Meta's "manipulative techniques" for increasing the frequency and duration of involvement by young users, as well as the consequences that come from such prolonged engagement.
In her turn, Massachusetts Attorney general Maura Healey stated that Meta "has failed to protect young people on its platforms and instead chose to ignore or, in some cases, double down on known manipulations that pose a real threat to physical and mental health — exploiting children in the interest of profit."

"Meta can no longer ignore the threat that social media can pose to children for the benefit of their bottom line," she added.

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro noted that social media giants "have a responsibility to keep their users safe and disclose risks associated with their platforms."
“Our investigation will help determine whether Facebook failed in its responsibility to protect children online and will help us determine how to stop these companies from continuing to put children at risk for their own profit," Shapiro stressed in his press release.
The District of Columbia Attorney general, Karl A. Racine, said that although his office "has been independently investigating," he is "proud to join this bipartisan probe."
According to tech-specialized media, a Meta representative claimed that the probe is based on charges that are "false and demonstrate a deep misunderstanding of the facts."

"While challenges in protecting young people online impact the entire industry, we’ve led the industry in combating bullying and supporting people struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-injury, and eating disorders," they are quoted as saying. "We continue to build new features to help people who might be dealing with negative social comparisons or body image issues, including our new 'Take a Break' feature and ways to nudge them towards other types of content if they're stuck on one topic. We continue to develop parental supervision controls and are exploring ways to provide even more age-appropriate experiences for teens by default."

Frances Haugen, a former employee of the company who was revealed as the Facebook Papers whistleblower, along with several interest groups, has filed at least nine complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission, per the New York Times report, alleging that Meta misled investors about its efforts to safeguard users against disinformation and hate.
Members of Congress have pledged to create privacy, speech, and antitrust legislation aimed at reining in the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, and the Federal Trade Commission and dozens of states have filed antitrust cases to crack down on Meta.
A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.11.2021
Facebook Leadership Chooses Not to Make Platform Safer to Maximize Profits, Whistleblower Says
The Facebook Papers, which span an enormous amount of data, reveal the corporations' attempts to deal with a variety of challenges that have arisen as a result of its massive scale and billions of users, including misinformation, addiction, and user manipulation all over the world, with limited success.
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