Wisconsin weighs in on multi-state lawsuit against Meta, alleges harm to children’s mental health | WLUK
(WLUK) — Social media is a powerful tool that can help create and strengthen relationships, but a lawsuit including Wisconsin and 32 other states claims it’s harming children’s’ mental health.
“I think it’s vital that we are doing what we can to keep our kids in Wisconsin safe,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Oct. 24th.
The filing targets Meta, the company that owns both Facebook and Instagram. Kaul claims Meta has set both platforms up in ways that encourage kids to get addicted.
Meta has responded to the lawsuit saying in part, “We’re disappointed that instead of working productively with companies across the industry to create clear, age-appropriate standards for the many apps teens use, the attorneys general have chosen this path.”
Children under the age of 13 are not allowed to have their own accounts on either Facebook or Instagram.
But, the lawsuit claims Facebook and Instagram has knowledge of users younger than 13 years old.
For kids who are 10 to 14 years old, the American Psychological Association encourages adult oversight.
“Having parents help children and young adolescents to manage their social media usage leads to less negative outcomes,” said UW-Green Bay Psychology Professor Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges.
“Certainly, we think it’s important for parents to be talking about their kids about online safety,” added Kaul.
But as Wilson-Doenges points out, not every child has the same family or guardian support.
“So then the question is then, who? Is it Facebook’s job to then play a parental role?” said Wilson-Doenges. “Whose responsibility is it to help children and teens to manage their social media usage?”