Lieff Cabraser is investigating reports indicating that Meta/Facebook’s Instagram platform is a huge factor in teen eating disorders and pervasive mental health deterioration nationwide. Multiple studies indicate Instagram’s feverishly youth-targeted algorithms and content torrent hyperfocused on maximizing usage time is uniquely harmful to teens, endangering young user’s mental health contributing to severe eating disorders and unhealthy body image disorders.
The list of ways in which Instagram’s content harms youth is almost too long to catalogue — and much of the data comes from Meta’s own intensive internal review of the platform’s dangers and deeply negative effects on users, particularly teen and even pre-teen users. “A perfect storm” of sophisticated programming and deliberate behavior modification endangering young users’ mental health, Instagram’s negative and harmful workings include specific design choices, idealizing filters, engineered content optimization creating false “lives” that are perfect and curated beyond any achievable standards, contributing to anorexia and bulimia.
The research also highlighted that “social comparison,” users assessment of their own value relative to that of content creators’ using Instagram’s powerful tools to optimize and exaggerate the quality and display of their lives, is “worse on Instagram” than on any other social media platforms. At least 20% of teen users reported that Instagram makes them feel worse about themselves, with 40% saying the platform makes them feel “unattractive.”
Lieff Cabraser has litigated to protect and advance the rights of internet users, especially child and young adult internet users, for decades, including in cases aimed at curtailing the illegal and deceptive acquisition and monetization of young user’s deeply private and personal identity and location information as well as cases seeking to eradicate sex trafficking and related degradations across multiple social media platforms. Our civil rights and privacy cases have led to judgments and settlements for our clients valued at over $8 billion as well as significant and enduring changes to law and corporate policy for the benefit of all.
If you or your child is an Instagram user and has reported or experienced any of these negative reactions, disorders, or behavior spiraling you or they believe to be related to Instagram use, we urge you to use the form on this page to contact a children’s rights lawyer at Lieff Cabraser today about your case and possible recovery.