November 19, 2021 – Tamuning, Guam- Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho has joined a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform – Instagram – to children and young adults despite knowing that such use is associated with physical and mental health harms. Attorneys general across the country are examining whether the company violated consumer protection laws and put the public at risk.
“As a parent, I know the pressure that parents and children face in dealing with the physical and mental health risks to kids that come with spending time on social media,” AG Camacho said. “This investigation will help us get to the bottom of what Facebook has been doing, what it has known, and whether it has engaged in any unlawful practices.”
The investigation targets, among other things, the techniques utilized by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement. Today’s announcement follows recent 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. AG Camacho has long been concerned about the negative impacts of social media platforms on Guam’s youngest residents.
In May, AG Camacho joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
Leading the investigation, which involves a broad group of states across the country, is a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont.