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Social Media Lawsuits Allege Children’s Safety Concerns


Roblox and Discord have been added to a mass tort litigation that ensnared Facebook and Snapchat. Among the major concerns are the sexual exploitation of children on these platforms. The allegations include a firm belief that these platforms foster addiction. In many cases, parents allege that their teens and tweens appear to be glued to the platform at the expense of other activities including in-person socialization.

California recently passed legislation that forces these platforms to change how they treat minor users after a UK court directly blamed Facebook for the death of a teenage girl who took her own life after being exposed to relentlessly bleak content.

Lawsuit against Roblox 

Roblox is the latest company to be targeted by the Social Media Victims Law Center which was formed after a whistleblower alleged that Facebook hacks human brains to drive advertising revenue. According to the Roblox lawsuit, a 13-year-old girl was contacted by an 18-year-old user who convinced her to join him on Discord, Instagram, and Snapchat. The lawsuit alleges that the interaction led to a “harmful and problematic” dependence on social media. It further resulted in the girl drinking alcohol, sending sexually explicit photos, and other behavior. Eventually, it resulted in a suicide attempt in 2020. Roblox was the attack surface, so Roblox is being named in the lawsuit.

Lawsuits against Meta and Facebook 

The lawsuits against Meta and Facebook make similar allegations concerning the platform’s ability to drive addiction. Facebook also was aware of the issue involving their content’s ability to harm the self-esteem of teenagers according to a leaked internal document that made its way into the hands of the press. Facebook has also been implicated in human trafficking and is now being sued for promulgating genocide through blood libel in Myanmar.

Analyzing the lawsuits 

Right now, the Communications Decency Act is the only thing stopping plaintiffs from winning these suits against major social media platforms. The Communications Decency Act prevents a social media platform from being held liable for third-party content. Essentially, it acts as a bar to holding social media companies liable for the conduct of companies that advertise and users who stalk victims on the site. This prevents the vast majority of lawsuits against social media platforms and further gives them no incentive to attempt to tailor their content to young people who may be unduly influenced by certain types of content.

It remains unclear that these lawsuits can be successful given the Communications Decency Act prohibition on holding social media companies liable for conduct contributed by users. However, with growing concern that the platforms are harming the mental health of teenagers, there may be more incentive for legislators to intervene.

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Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of those harmed by dangerous or defective products. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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