A joint investigation of Instagram’s parent company Meta has been announced by a consortium of US states for promoting the application to children despite allegedly knowing its potential for harm.

The probe has been launched after a whistleblower leaked reams of internal documents which showed that executives knew the amount of risk teenagers may face through their. This would be one of the most serious reputational crises that social media giant is battling.

“Facebook, now Meta, has failed to protect young people on its platforms and instead chose to ignore or, in some cases, double down on known manipulations that pose a real threat to physical and mental health — exploiting children in the interest of profit,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement.

It doesn't mean all ad targeting is being retired, though.

The consortium of attorneys general – states’ top law enforcers and legal advisors – includes New York, Colorado, California, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont.

Among other things, the investigation is targeting Meta’s techniques for increasing the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms, said California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

It comes after “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,” Bonta’s statement said.

From : pk.mashable.com

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