For years, Meta (formerly Facebook) ignored warnings of widespread mental health issues among minors using its platforms for hours each day. Knowing just how addictive these platforms are and the damages they can cause were not enough for Meta to issue warnings to its user base. Instead, the company used the addictive nature to gain more users, more advertisers, and ultimately more profits.
We’ll highlight just what happened and how to spot signs of mental health issues in teens and children using social media.
Farah and Farah Now Taking Cases Against Meta
At Farah and Farah, we fight corporations that put profits over people every day. We’re now taking on cases involving minors who have developed mental health issues from using Facebook and Instagram.
As early as 2021, internal reports started emerging which showed that Instagram was well aware that the app was negatively affecting young users’ mental health. Early reports from inside Facebook shows that the company knew for years that Instagram makes body image issues worse for teenage girls.
Children’s mental health professionals have been sounding the alarm and largely ignored by the social media giant. A CNBC report from late 2021 looking through years of studies found more internal documentation showcasing that top execs (including Zuckerberg) were well aware of the platform being harmful to a “significant number of teenagers.” The study cites an internal Facebook meeting which found that “thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.” The same study found that this also affects some 14% of teen boys using the platforms.
In a perfect storm, the platforms have also shown to be incredibly addictive. As far back as 2016, a report in the American Journal of Psychiatry coined the term “Facebook addiction” to describe individuals trapped in engaging excessively on Facebook, often with negative personal outcomes. With 2.91 billion active users on Facebook alone, the chances for developing an addiction are astronomically high.
Who is Now Eligible to Pursue a Case?
Being able to represent victims harmed by someone else’s negligence is what we do. Those victims deserve a voice and to be heard. Despite ignoring warnings and even their own internal reports, social media giant, Meta, will still have to answer for the incredible harm they’ve done to so many.
In order to be eligible for the new cases coming out against Meta, you must meet certain criteria including:
- Must have used Facebook or Instagram as a minor (17 or younger)
- Must have used either platform for more than three (3) hours a day
We must also be able to demonstrate the harm caused from the use outlined above. Therefore, the victim must have been diagnosed with at least one of the following injuries:
- Eating disorders
- Body dysmorphia
- Suicidal ideations
- Attempted suicide
- Other issues related to mental health
Further, they must have proof of documented counseling and no prior history of mental illness. With this information, our attorneys can start putting the pieces together to help determine if you are eligible to pursue a case against Meta.
What Are Symptoms of Mental Illness in Teens and Children?
With social media use being the norm for so many worldwide, the rise in mental health issues especially among teens and children is cause for concern. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of symptoms parents and guardians can be mindful of which may mean a child is suffering from mental health issues. Signs to watch for include:
- Persistently being sad that lasts for several weeks.
- Withdrawal from activities or social interactions.
- Hurting themselves or talking about hurting themself.
- Talking about death or suicide.
- Frequent outbursts or extreme irritability.
- Tantrums which turn out-of-control and which may be harmful.
If you notice any of the above in your child, do not delay getting them help. There are many state and federal programs available around the clock. Here in Florida, the Florida Department of Children and Families provides many resources to assist you in times of crisis.
Watched a Child or Loved One Sink Into Mental Illness After Using Social Media?
Social media has long been sold as a way to bring people closer together and yet study after study shows high degrees of use makes people feel worse, not better. If you have had to endure watching your child spiral into the despair of mental illness from using social media, know you are not alone and we can make a way forward together.
Speak with one of our attorneys now for free. We’ll look over what happened, help determine eligibility, and map out the best direction to take from here.
Please keep in mind that Farah and Farah is not a news outlet. Instead, we are a dedicated team of legal professionals with unique experience in personal injury cases. We present news like this to examine the details from a legal perspective. To do that in a timely manner, we must rely on the facts and information that is available when a post goes live. That may mean facts can change if any new details emerge. Our only intent is to help educate and empower the general public with information they can use if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.