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Oregon woman sues Meta, Snap over alleged mental health harm

Court documents state Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, intentionally designed its products to be addictive and harmful to users’ mental health.
Credit: Cathy Cheney/Portland Business Journal

PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon mother is suing California-based Meta, otherwise known as Facebook, and Snap, saying the companies and their social media platforms Instagram and Snapchat are “responsible for causing and contributing to burgeoning mental health crisis perpetrated upon the children and teenagers in the United States.”

Documents filed Jan. 20 in U.S. District Court in Oregon by Brittney Doffing state Meta intentionally designed its products to be addictive and harmful to its users’ mental health, specifically young girls like her 14-year-old daughter, named M.K. in the suit.

The suit also alleges that Snapchat and Instagram are breeding grounds for “sexual solicitation and exploitation” of minors, and that Meta did nothing because it knowingly benefitted from these predators using the platforms to “solicit and groom minor users into sexually compromising situations and lure them into being sexually exploited and trafficked.”

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After downloading the apps, M.K. allegedly has slept less, been messaged by sexual predators on both apps, developed an eating disorder, run away from home several times to regain access to the apps and been hospitalized twice for “psychiatric episodes triggered by Doffing’s attempts to take away or restrict M.K.’s usage of Instagram and Snapchat.”

Read the full story at the Portland Business Journal.

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