Mother sues Meta and Snape for daughter ‘s suicide Social media news

An American mother claims that the companies are to blame for the suicide of her 11-year-old daughter, who was “extremely addicted” to social media.

Meta Platforms Inc. and Snap Inc. are guilty of the suicide of an 11-year-old child who was addicted to Instagram and Snapchat, which the girl’s mother claims in a lawsuit.

The woman claims that her daughter Selena Rodriguez struggled for two years with an “extreme addiction” to Meta’s photo-sharing platform and Snap messaging app before taking her own life last year.

The lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco is not the first lawsuit to accuse a young person of suicide on social media, but it comes at a sensitive time for platforms that engage millions of young people around the world.

In November, a group of U.S. Attorney Generals announced an Instagram investigation into his efforts to paint children and young adults, looking at the risks the social network could pose to their mental health and well-being. The U.S. investigation was launched after a former Facebook employee who became an informant testified in Congress that the company was aware of but did not disclose the harmful effects of its services such as Instagram.

Reaction against social media is not limited to the United States The father of a 14-year-old girl in the United Kingdom caused a storm of fire when he blamed her suicide in 2017 in part on Instagram. The company told the BBC it did not allow content that encouraged self-harm.

“We are devastated to hear of Selena’s death and our hearts are with her family,” a Snap spokesman said in an email on Friday. “Although we cannot comment on the specifics of active litigation, nothing is more important to us than the well-being of our community.”

Meta and Snape knew or should have known that “their social media products are harmful to a significant percentage of their underage users,” according to the case on Thursday. “In other words, the defendants deliberately created an attractive inconvenience for young children, but failed to provide adequate safeguards against the harmful effects they knew to occur on fully owned and controlled digital premises.”

Meta representatives did not respond to an email requesting comment.

A Meta spokesman said in November that allegations that the company was making a profit from safety were untrue and that “we continue to build new features to help people who can cope with negative social comparisons or body problems”. .

Snap said in May that it was suspending projects with two manufacturers of “high-security Snapchat community safety” applications in light of a lawsuit for wrongful death and group action in California that accused companies of failing to enforce their own policies against cyberbullying.

Tammy Rodriguez, who lives in Connecticut, said that when she tried to restrict her daughter’s access to the platforms, the girl ran away from home. She took her daughter to a therapist, who said she had “never seen a patient as addicted to social media as Selena”, according to the case.

The lawsuit has harshly criticized Snapchat, saying the platform rewards users in “excessive and dangerous ways” for engagement. The mother alleges product defects, negligence and violations of California’s consumer protection law. One of the lawyers in the case is from the Legal Center for Victims of Social Media, a Seattle-based legal advocacy group.

“Snapchat helps people communicate with their true friends without some of the public pressure and social comparison features of traditional social media platforms, and deliberately makes it difficult for strangers to connect with young people,” said a Snap spokesman. “We work closely with many mental health organizations to provide tools and resources in the Snapchatters app as part of our ongoing work to keep our community safe.”

Social media companies have largely been able to fend off lawsuits accusing them of bodily harm, thanks to a 1996 federal law that protects online platforms from liability for what users post online.

The case is Rodriguez v. Meta Platforms Inc. f / k / a Facebook Inc. 3: 22-cv-00401, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

(Snap comment updates.)
“With the help of Naomi Knicks.”

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