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Some Social News: Court document claims Meta knowingly designed its platforms to hook kids

A freshly unsealed legal complaint is claiming that Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, intentionally crafted its social platforms to hook kids.

The complaint alleges that Meta not only knew about millions of complaints regarding riding underage users on Instagram but only disabled a fraction of those accounts, a fact never disclosed until now. This legal bombshell was dropped in late October by the attorneys general of 33 states, and recently, the complaint was unsealed for all to see.

According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, Meta has responded, saying the complaint misrepresents their efforts over the past decade to make the online experience safe for teens. They insist that they don't design their products to be addictive to the younger crowd.

Here's where it gets interesting – the complaint refers to internal documents claiming that several Meta officials admitted to designing their products to exploit aspects of youthful psychology. This includes impulsive behavior, susceptibility to peer pressure, and underestimation of risks. Some documents even acknowledge that Facebook and Instagram were quite popular with kids under the age of 13, who, according to company policy, aren't supposed to be using the service.

In a 2019 email, one of Meta's safety executives hinted that cracking down on younger users might not be great for business. However, by the next year, the same executive expressed frustration because, although Meta readily studied the habits of underage users for business purposes, they didn't show the same enthusiasm for finding ways to identify and remove younger kids from their platforms.

To add to the drama, the complaint points out that Meta sometimes has a backlog of up to 2.5 million accounts of younger children just waiting for some sort of action.

It's a tangled web, isn't it? Meta insists they're all about safety, but these allegations suggest otherwise. It's definitely going to be one to watch.

With Socialode, we'll give you an update by the end of this week in regard to our progress.

As Always

You Just Need To Be You


The Socialode Team


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