Suit filed in Oct. 2023 against Meta alleging that its Instagram platform causes mental health harms to its young users

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti recently joined a coalition of 27 state attorneys general in sending a letter to Meta Platforms, Inc., (Meta) demanding that Instagram stop monetizing child exploitation content.

“My office is already suing Meta for its harms to children’s mental health, and this latest report only adds to my concern about the risks Meta poses to Tennessee kids,” Attorney General Skrmetti said in a statement. “Meta needs to do a better job of using its vast resources to protect our vulnerable youth.”

According to an article published February 22 in The Wall Street Journal, Meta’s own staff raised alarms after Instagram enabled those running “parent-managed minor accounts” to profit by providing “pin-up style photos of children” to male subscribers who were “often overt about sexual interest” in children.

Worse, Meta actively promoted child-modeling subscriptions to “likely pedophiles.” On the same day, The New York Times similarly reported that men in online chatrooms frequently praised “the advent of Instagram as a golden age for child exploitation.”

This letter comes after Attorney General Skrmetti filed suit in Oct. 2023 against Meta alleging that its Instagram platform causes mental health harms to its young users.

In addition to Attorney General Skrmetti, the attorneys general of the following states signed on to the letter: Arkansas, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

To read the letter, click here.

Image by freepik.

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Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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