Moms sue Instagram, Snapchat over daughters’ social media addiction, mental health – NBC Bay Area
Is Social Media Headed to Court? Parents have filed two lawsuits alleging that Instagram and Snapchat contributed to severe anxiety among young people and, in one case, the death of a young girl.
Legal analysts told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that these cases could set precedents if they go to court. Precedents regarding responsibility, both how responsible parents are for their children and how responsible social media companies are for the content on their sites and how that content is shared.
In the case of Connecticut’s Tammy Rodriguez, her 11-year-old daughter Selena committed suicide after Rodriguez said she developed an addiction to Instagram and Snapchat.
Mathew Bergman, founder of the Social Media Victims Law Center, is handling Rodriguez’s case, along with that of Oregon’s Brittney Doffing, who said her 14-year-old developed an eating disorder and ran away from home several times after she got up Instagram had been harassed and Snapchat.
Two lawsuits have been filed by parents alleging that Instagram and Snapchat have contributed to severe anxiety among young people. Raj Mathai talks to Scott Budman about these cases.
“They’re going to see that a person is a 14-year-old girl, so they’re going to take them to influencers, who in turn will take them to websites that give them body ill feelings and lead to serious eating disorders,” he said.
Meta and Snap have been in the news for such concerns, but a courtroom? Legal analyst Aron Solomon said he sees good opportunities.
“I think cases like this give the courts an opportunity to remind both social media companies and parents of their individual and collective responsibilities,” he said.
An attempt to dominate social media companies like we haven’t seen since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
“To say that these applications, whether Snap or Meta or Twitter or anything else, are inherently so dangerous that even with parental control and supervision their child ended up dying by suicide is going to be a very difficult stretch in the courtroom,” said Solomon.
Snapchat isn’t commenting on the case, but has said Selina’s death has left him devastated. NBC Bay Area has also reached out to Meta but has not heard back.