Time of the probe: The comprehensive investigation is just the latest policy measure against the social media giant, which is also being investigated by the Senate Commerce’s Consumer Protection Committee and under scrutiny by a variety of committees and congressional bureaus in both chambers.
That heat was sparked by the recent revelations by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who flipped through thousands of pages of documents detailing how much the social network knew about the dangers that products and services like Instagram pose to children and young people . Haugen also filed at least eight complaints with the SEC alleging that Facebook misled investors.
“It makes no difference whether you call it Instagram, Facebook or Meta, the fact remains the same: These social media platforms are extremely dangerous and have been shown to cause physical and mental damage to young people.” said the New York attorney general Letitia James who is part of the probe. “Mark Zuckerberg and the companies he leads have consistently placed profits above safety, but our investigation sought to end that behavior.”
Metas defense: The company’s response to the state investigation reflected its response to recent coverage in the Wall Street Journal, POLITICO and other media outlets about the Facebook papers that Haugen handed over to the government. The social media giant denied the allegations, saying they reflected “a deep misunderstanding of the facts”.
“We are the industry leader in combating bullying and helping people struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-harm and eating disorders,” said Meta spokesman Andy Stone. “We continue to develop new features to help people who may be struggling with negative social comparisons or body image issues. … We continue to develop parental controls and find ways to provide teenagers with even more age-appropriate experiences. “