Nevada Attorney General Launches Lawsuits Against Social Media Giants, Accusing Platforms of Deliberately Addicting Youth

Las Vegas, Nevada – Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford has filed civil lawsuits against several popular social media platforms, including TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger. The lawsuits allege that the algorithms used by these platforms have been intentionally designed to addict young users. According to Ford’s office, these addictive designs have led to various negative effects on the mental and physical health, privacy, and safety of young people.

The lawsuits specifically point out features such as endless scrolling, disappearing content, and dopamine-inducing rewards as tactics used by these platforms to maximize usage and manipulate the emotions of young users for financial gain. The attorney general’s office also claims that these platforms have been linked to serious dangers for children, including auto accidents, drug overdoses, suicides, eating disorders, and sexual exploitation.

In the complaints filed in Clark County District Court, the plaintiffs argue that social media platforms have a financial incentive to keep users on their platforms for as long as possible in order to expose them to highly targeted advertisements. The complaints further assert that highly skilled employees of these companies have spent years researching and designing features that make it difficult for users to quit.

The lawsuits emphasize that children have limited self-control and are most vulnerable to the intentionally addictive design elements created by these platforms. Furthermore, the complaints allege that social media platforms have become an integral part of young users’ identity, with users feeling addicted and struggling to control the amount of time spent on these apps. The lawsuits claim that the platforms have not made changes to reduce their addictiveness and that they are conducting a potentially harmful experiment on the developing brains of young users.

While TikTok declined to comment on the lawsuits, pointing to their policies and features aimed at creating a safe experience for young users, both Snap and Meta did not respond to requests for comment before the deadline.

These lawsuits shed light on concerns surrounding the addictive nature of social media platforms and their potential impact on the well-being of young users. As the legal proceedings unfold, the outcomes of these cases could have far-reaching implications for the regulation and design practices of social media platforms.