Intended for healthcare professionals


Meta is sued by 41 US states for driving children’s addiction to social media and hiding the harms

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 30 October 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2518
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, is being sued by 41 US states that have accused the company of deliberately designing algorithms to cause addictive behaviour in children and of concealing its own research that proves that these products are harming young users.

A lawsuit brought by 33 states,1 led by California and Colorado, coincides with suits brought by eight individual states and the District of Columbia. Collaboration on such a scale between Republican and Democratic attorneys general was previously seen only in huge—and successful—lawsuits against the tobacco and opioid industries.

Colorado’s attorney general, Phil Weiser, drew that comparison explicitly in a statement. “Just like big tobacco and vaping companies have done in years past,” he said, “Meta chose to maximise its profits at the expense of public health, specifically harming the health of the youngest among us.”

The suit …

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