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How Meta's New Lawsuit Will Affect Marketing Towards Young People

How Meta

On October 24, 2023, 41 U.S. states and the District of Columbia sued Meta, alleging their social media platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram, knowingly contributed to the youth mental health crisis. In the lawsuit, they claim Facebook and Instagram are not only addictive and harmful to young users through numerous features like copious alerts, notifications, and infinitely scrolling feeds. They also claim these features “negatively impact teens’ mental health”, specifically because they encourage social comparisons and promote body dysmorphia through likes or photo filters.

What This Means for Marketers

group of friends using a smartphone

Ultimately, regardless of where this lawsuit goes, other social media platforms may feel inclined to add more features and/or privacy settings designed to restrict usage on younger users. With the reality of social media platforms likely enforcing more regulation through features and default privacy settings over younger users, social media ads and posts may not reach much of their younger audience. Therefore, marketers should: 

This concern over young kids using social media and the effects it has on their mental heath isn’t a new one. In 2021, a Facebook whistleblower who was later revealed as Frances Haugen leaked internal research, proving Meta knew the negative effects their social media platforms made on young people. In response, Instagram said they were working on features that would combat this. However, it’s hard to know what tech companies can do to improve it. Even then, this concern won't go away, so it's important that marketing professionals are proactive in how they market young people.

Pacific Software Publishing, Inc.

1404 140th Place N.E., Bellevue, WA 98007

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Pacific Software Publishing, Inc. is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington and provides domain, web, and email hosting to more than 40,000 companies of all sizes around the world. We design and develop our own software and are committed to helping businesses of all sizes grow and thrive online. For more information you can contact us at 800-232-3989, by email at or visit us online at