A coalition of bipartisan state attorneys general recently launched an investigation on Meta Platforms, better known as Facebook, for promoting its subsidiary Instagram to children amid allegations that it causes mental health and self-image problems in children.
The investigation comes at a time when Facebook is under intense scrutiny over its approach to children and young adults.
Nebraska, Massachusetts, California, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and New Jersey are involved in the investigation.
State attorneys general are investigating allegations that the tech giant violated consumer protection laws and put the safety of children and young adults at risk.
The investigation followed an earlier Wall Street Journal report that revealed internal documents, leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen that showed the social media giant knew Instagram could have potentially damaging effects on teenage self-image.
A Meta spokesman said in a statement that “these accusations are false and demonstrate a deep misunderstanding of the facts.”
Meta is continuously developing parental supervision controls and ways to provide age-appropriate experiences to young people, the spokesperson added.
Instagram has rules against children under 13 joining the platform similar to most social media platforms but revealed that it knows it has users below the legal age.
Instagram had halted plans in September to launch Instagram for children, amid fierce opposition to the project.