OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 18, 2021
Contact: Jerri Mares– (505) 321-4372
Attorneys General Concerned for Safety and Well-Being of Children; Examining Potential Violations of Consumer Protection Laws
Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Balderas today joined 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.
“On January 21, 2021 I filed a lawsuit against Facebook, and now have joined my colleagues in expanding this investigation to protect children in New Mexico,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Families are flooded with new applications from Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly Facebook, without proper protections for privacy and child safety.”
The investigation targets, among other things, 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. Today’s announcement follows recent reports revealing that Meta’s own internal research shows that using Instagram is associated with increased risks of physical and mental health harms on young people, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide. AG Balderas has long been concerned about the negative impacts of social media platforms on New Mexico’s youngest residents. In May, a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general urged Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
Leading the investigation is a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont.