MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced his participation in a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform – Instagram – to children and young adults despite knowing that such use is associated with physical and mental health harms. Attorneys General across the country are examining whether the company violated state laws and put the public at risk.
“We are working with a bipartisan group of AGs to investigate whether Facebook violated consumer protection laws,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Social media companies must not pad their profits by using practices they know will harm children and young adults.”
The investigation targets, among other things, the techniques utilized by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement. Today’s announcement follows recent reports revealing that Meta’s own internal research shows that using Instagram is associated with increased risks of physical and mental health harms on young people, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide. Attorney General Kaul has long been concerned about the negative impacts of social media platforms on Wisconsin’s youngest residents. In May, Attorney General Kaul joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general who urged Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.