Missouri mother sues Meta over teen’s mental health issues

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – A Blue Springs mom is suing Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, because she says it’s causing mental health problems for her teenage daughter.

Her mother said her daughter still struggles with her mental health because of her addiction to social media, and she blames Meta for that.

The lengthy lawsuit, filed last week, alleges that the 15-year-old became addicted to the Meta platform after downloading it, and that the addiction led to periods of suicidal ideation, self-harm and depression, among other things.

The Blue Springs mother said Meta designed the platform to be addictive, something she said her daughter was unaware of.

“If the lawsuit is successful, then we will have to stop selling Coca-Cola because my daughter can’t put her Coke down,” said attorney Bernie Rhodes.

But Rhodes, who has nothing to do with the case, doesn’t think the lawsuit will go far. He said that social media platforms do what they were created to do.

“They say that all of Facebook’s designs are addictive, and they’re more addictive because people want to look at them for the wrong things,” Rhodes said. “Why do people go to NASCAR races? To see crashes.”

The lawsuit accuses Meta of several things, including knowingly exploiting the vulnerabilities of teenagers for unfair gain.

This local mother is just one of several parents who have sued Meta, claiming that her child’s social media addiction is harming her. The company will now get an opportunity to respond.

“I never said social media is a panacea. I don’t use social media, and I know people who do, and it causes a lot of problems. But a lot of it causes problems that aren’t illegal,” Rhodes said.

In part, the family’s lawsuit calls for monetary damages to pay for sustained injuries and attorney fees.

FOX4 spoke to the mother’s legal team, who said they would send a statement. We did not hear back at the time of publication.

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