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Social Media Harm Lawsuits

Trustwell Law is accepting social media harm cases on behalf of parents with minor children as well as young adults who became addicted to social media (Facebook and Instagram) and have suffered one or more of the harmful mental health effects of social media. These harmful effects can include:

  • Eating disorders
    • Anorexia
    • Bulimia
    • Binge-eating disorder
    • Purging (vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, excessive exercising)
  • Body dysmorphia
  • Self-harm or attempted self-harm
  • Attempted suicide
  • Suicide

If you are thinking about harming yourself or are having suicidal thoughts, please immediately tell someone who can help:

  • Call or text 988, the dedicated mental health emergency number
  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room
  • Call your doctor’s office
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.
  • Call 911

If you are considering filing a social media lawsuit for yourself or minor child, call us at 800-796-1636 or submit your contact details online and someone will contact you shortly. You pay nothing unless your lawsuit is successful and you receive compensation.

At Trustwell Law, our experienced attorneys take a personalized, compassionate approach. We cut through the legalese and partner with our clients. We have access to the expertise, resources, and manpower to fully investigate each case and fight for and with our clients to get the justice they deserve.

Social Media Can Be Dangerous for Children

Because of their developing brains, overusing social network sites is more problematic for children and young adults than for older, more mature individuals. Studies estimate that 27 percent of children who spend three or more hours a day on social media show symptoms of poor mental health. Research has found that adolescents who used social media regularly from a young age have severely underdeveloped social interaction skills. They tend to have increased social anxiety in groups, lower levels of compassion towards others, higher rates of depression, and are more likely to have a negative body image. Research also indicates those teens are far more likely to feel socially isolated and depressed when compared to less-frequent users of social media.

Studies have also shown that using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram has the same effect on the brain as gambling and recreational drugs, to keep participants using the products. In other words, the internet platforms are designed to be addictive. Neuroscientists have compared social media usage to dopamine (the “feel-good” hormone the body produces during pleasurable activities) being injected directly into the user’s system.

In summary, overusing social media such as Facebook and Instagram can cause serious mental health issues in children and young adults and the use of Facebook and Instagram is inherently addictive, so the very activity that harms them also stimulates them to continue doing it.

Whistleblower Shared Internal Facebook Documents

In 2021, a data scientist named Frances Haugen resigned from her position at Facebook and submitted a wealth of Facebook’s internal documents and research to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to Congress as well as to the Wall Street Journal. This whistleblower had joined the Facebook team in 2019 with a goal to improve how Facebook dealt with misinformation. She resigned after concluding that Facebook put profits ahead of safety and accuracy. As she explained on the 60 Minutes news program, “Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, they’ll make less money.”

Haugen also testified before a U.S. Senate committee. She accused Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, of ignoring the damage their platforms cause. For example, she told the committee, “Facebook knows that they are leading young users to anorexia content.”

Social Media and Eating Disorders

The Wall Street Journal’s “Facebook Papers” article, which is based on their review of Haugen’s Facebook documents, states:

“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” the researchers said in a March 2020 slide presentation posted to Facebook’s internal message board, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.” 

Teens on Facebook and Instagram are constantly presented with images of body types considered ideal by our society, leading them to compare themselves to that ideal and, eventually, leading to lower body satisfaction, especially in teen girls. They also compare themselves to images of their peers, and even though they know their peers only post pictures that show them at their best (and may be altered), they still make comparisons that can affect how they see themselves and lead to lower self-image.

Sadly, those who become dissatisfied with their appearance and bodies often develop eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and may participate in other harmful and unhealthy behaviors.

Social Media and Self-Harm and Suicide

An adolescent’s need to gain “likes,” recognition, and attention on social media can also lead to a multitude of negative emotions and behaviors, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Making risky choices
  • Engaging in negative behavior
  • Bullying

All these injuries result from social media’s algorithms that their own research helped them build to push users to their platforms and to push just the right (but wrong) buttons in their young users.

Boston Medical Center published a study in 2020 about what they called “social media disorder” and its relationship to loneliness. Numerous other studies have tied use of Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to negative impacts on user’s psyche—from loneliness to feelings of isolation to depression and suicidal ideation. The psychiatric journal Current Opinion published a study that found that suicide, in direct correlation with problematic use of social media, is one of the leading causes of death among 10- to 24-year-olds worldwide.

Contact a Social Media Attorney

Did your child develop one of the listed harmful mental health effects from social media use? Or are you a young adult who experienced one or more of those negative impacts? Or did your child or loved one commit suicide having overused social media? If so, contact Trustwell Law for a free consultation.

 

Sources

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