Attorneys for the plaintiffs plan to file a consolidated complaint next month in the Northern District of California, accusing the tech giants of It can cause eating disorders, anxiety and depression.
If granted, the case would test a new legal theory that social media algorithms are products that encourage people to engage in addictive behavior and are subject to existing product liability law.
This could have far-reaching implications for how software is developed and organized, and how the next generation of users can experience social media.
The case could also bolster past efforts by both parties and US President Joe Biden, who has called for regulation since former Facebook product chief Francis Haugen released documents showing that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, knows Instagram users are struggling with health issues. But nothing has been done in the fifteen months since then.
Francis Hogan’s findings suggest that Meta has long known the negative effects of Instagram on our children
“This is similar to what we saw in the 1990s when whistleblowers leaked evidence that tobacco companies knew nicotine was addictive,” said Brevin Warren, one of the leaders in the case, who added.
the Politico According to his paper, the application of product liability law to an algorithm is still a relatively new area of law, although it is being attempted in an increasing number of lawsuits. In traditional PLR, the chain of causation is usually simple: a ladder with a third rung that is always broken. However, in the case of the algorithm, it is more difficult to prove that it directly caused the damage.
Even legal experts debate whether the algorithm can be considered a product at all. Product liability law traditionally applies to defects in physical objects: for example, a hair dryer or a car. However, a potential ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would limit the broad immunity the tech giants have enjoyed thus far, and potentially clear a hurdle in the product liability case.
(Cover photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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