Mark Zuckerberg has bent over backwards to win the favor of the Democratic establishment.
And it still was not enough.
Now Zuckerberg could be in hot water after ignoring one huge problem.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckberg could be in deep trouble after downplaying emotional and psychological risks to young people on his platforms, namely Instagram.
Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell filed a lawsuit against Meta claiming that the company used unfair and deceptive practices that were harmful to young people.
AG Campbell said in a statement, “Meta preys on our young people and has chosen to profit by knowingly targeting and exploiting their vulnerabilities. In doing so, Meta has significantly contributed to the ongoing mental health crisis among our children and teenagers…Because Meta has shown that it will not act responsibly unless it is required to do so by courts of law, my colleagues and I are taking action today – and will continue to push for meaningful changes to Meta’s platforms that protect our young people.”
And documents from the court proceedings showed that Meta employees had warned Zuckerberg for years.
Is it time to require licensing for underage users?
The lawsuit argued that “Meta’s public statements that youth well-being is its ‘top priority’ are further deceptive because despite specifically identifying internally that its platform’s cosmetic surgery photo filters cause harm to young users (and in particular female young users), it deliberately chose to retain such filters because their removal would decrease user time on the platform.”
Margaret Gould Stewart, Meta VP of product design, wrote to Zuckerberg after his decision not to ban “beauty filters” on Instagram, “I respect your call on this and I’ll support it…but want to just say for the record that I don’t think it’s the right call given the risks…I just hope that years from now we will look back and feel good about the decision we made here.”
Clearly people within the company were concerned, but Zuckerberg ignored them.
According to employees, Zuckerberg’s standard of proof of harm for removing the filters was “too high.”
Even Facebook employees saw a danger
Former Facebook engineering director Arturo Bejar, testified, “My understanding was that Mark needed causal data…for you to be able to demonstrate that because somebody was using a filter, that that would have an impact on how they perceive themselves…All the people that I’ve talked to internally about this were like…Mark’s level of proof, in order to be able to take the work seriously and act on it, is too high…I think it’s an impossible standard to meet.”
Despite the testimony from company whistleblowers, the government’s aggressive pursuit of Meta has been challenged by others as merely an intimidation game.
The government wants Meta to do its bidding, and this is a shot across the bow.
Regardless, the harm of social media on young minds is real.
That’s why many Big Tech executives do not let their own children use smartphones and tablets excessively or at all.
Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.