Facebook Harm Lawsuit: Social Media’s Mental Health Effects

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Key takeaways:

  • The Facebook Harm Lawsuit highlights the importance of holding social media platforms accountable for their actions and ensuring transparency in their practices that impact users' safety and well-being
  • The lawsuit draws attention to potential harms related to user safety, data privacy breaches, and the dissemination of harmful content on the platform. It underscores the need for better safeguards.
  • The Facebook Harm Lawsuit serves as a catalyst for broader discussions within the tech industry, encouraging other platforms to reevaluate their policies and implement measures that prioritize user protection and mental well-being.

Facebook Harm Lawsuit: Social Media’s Mental Health Effects

Millions of people across the world use social media apps like Facebook and Instagram to connect with people and follow the things they’re interested in.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have been found to contribute to mental health effects on teens and young adults.

Facebook Harm Lawsuit; Do I Qualify for a Lawsuit; Potential Damages; Social Media and the Mental Health of Teens and Young Adults; How Has Facebook Responded to Criticism

This phenomenon has even been reported internally by Facebook employees, raising concern as to whether the company is doing anything to monitor and correct issues that lead to mental health impacts for its teen users.

Potential legal action is being investigated and considered for the mental harm done to teens and young adults.

Table of Contents

Facebook Mental Health Lawsuit

teens on social media

Our team of lawyers is investigating potential legal action against Facebook for putting teens and young adults at a greater risk for mental health impacts, or otherwise contributing to harmful mental health conditions.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mental health issues that may be linked to Facebook or Instagram use, contact us or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for a claim.

Do I Qualify for a Lawsuit?

Those who have used Facebook or Instagram and subsequently sought mental health treatment may be eligible for a Facebook harm lawsuit.

Facebook Harm Lawsuit; Do I Qualify for a Lawsuit

Potential claimants may qualify if they have suffered from any of the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • ADHD
  • Self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Any other diagnosed mental illnesses

Potential Damages

Damages refer to any losses, economic or non-economic, incurred as a result of an incident.

The incident in this instance would be social media use contributing to mental health effects.

Facebook Harm Lawsuit; Do I Qualify for a Lawsuit; Potential Damages

Damages in a case against Facebook/Meta/Instagram could include the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Therapy costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional damage

As we investigate further and gather clients, we may discover other potential damages able to be included in a claim.

Contact us if you are unsure whether or not you or your loved one qualifies for legal action.

Social Media and the Mental Health of Teens and Young Adults

young children on social media

Social media use is highest amongst teens and young adults, and with that has come increasing rates of mental health effects that can be potentially tied to certain platforms.

Internal documents and investigative reports have revealed that Facebook (Meta), which owns Instagram, is aware that their platforms can have harmful effects on teens and young adults.

Internal reports shed light on certain issues plaguing users, specifically female users of Instagram.

The reports point out “appearance-based social comparison” as a significant driver in the negative mental health impacts felt by teen users.

Facebook Harm Lawsuit; Do I Qualify for a Lawsuit; Potential Damages; Social Media and the Mental Health of Teens and Young Adults

Negative social comparison manifests itself in saddening ways:

Wall Street Journal: The Facebook Files

social media impacts mental health of teens

The Wall Street Journal published “The Facebook Files” in the Fall of 2021, which featured leaked Facebook documents and presentations that analyze the platform’s influence on teen/young adult mental health.

Within this investigative series, the Wall Street Journal published leaked documents, conducted investigative work interviewing victims of mental health crises onset by social media use, and raised concerns with the ethical nature of Facebook’s conduct in regard to promoting features deemed harmful to teen’s mental health by their own researchers.

How Has Facebook Responded to Criticism?

Facebook has done everything in its power to nullify the allegations that its platforms are harmful to its teen users.

Facebook released multiple press releases on the subject, including September 2021’s What Our Research Really Says About Teen Well-Being and Instagram.

Facebook Harm Lawsuit; Do I Qualify for a Lawsuit; Potential Damages; Social Media and the Mental Health of Teens and Young Adults; How Has Facebook Responded to Criticism

In this press release, Facebook says that its internal research does not say that its platforms cause mental health problems, but they in fact help teens feel better about themselves.

Furthermore, the company published two annotated slide decks, defending or correcting their own internal research on teen mental health.

The two slide decks are linked below:

These slide decks were released the night before the Senate Hearing over teen mental health, in which the Facebook representative Antigone Davis was “grilled” by Senate investigators.

This coincided with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony that laid out the company’s tactics in creating products that put younger users’ mental health at risk.

Profiting from Teen Damage: Social Media Platforms' Role

Social media platforms have become a breeding ground for profiting from teen damage. With the rise of social media addiction and cyberbullying, these platforms have inadvertently created an environment where teenagers are vulnerable to harm. This harm can range from mental health issues to reputational damage. However, instead of actively working to prevent or mitigate these damages, social media platforms often profit from them.

One way social media platforms profit from teen damage is through advertising revenue. As teenagers spend more time on these platforms, they are exposed to targeted advertisements that are specifically designed to capture their attention and influence their purchasing decisions. This targeted advertising generates significant revenue for social media platforms, as companies are willing to pay a premium to reach this valuable demographic.

Another way social media platforms profit from teen damage is through the sale of user data. Every interaction a teenager has on these platforms, from likes and comments to personal messages, is collected and analyzed by the platform. This data is then sold to advertisers and marketers, who use it to further target and manipulate teenagers. By monetizing user data, social media platforms are essentially profiting from the vulnerabilities and insecurities of teenagers.

Furthermore, social media platforms often turn a blind eye to the harmful content and behavior that occurs on their platforms. Cyberbullying, body shaming, and other forms of online harassment are rampant, and yet, social media platforms do not take sufficient action to address these issues. Instead, they allow this harmful content to thrive, as it generates engagement and keeps teenagers hooked on their platforms. The more teenagers are exposed to damaging content, the more time they spend on social media, and the more profit social media platforms make.

TruLaw: Investigating the Facebook Mental Health Lawsuit

social media impacts mental health negatively

Our lawyers in Trulaw are currently investigating the facts of the Facebook Mental Health Lawsuit and how to properly move forward with legal action.

If you or a loved one have suffered from mental health impacts potentially caused by social media usage, you may qualify for a claim.

Reach out to our attorneys today for a free consultation and use the chatbot on this page for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to see if you qualify for legal action instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Facebook Harm Lawsuit about?

    The Facebook Harm Lawsuit centers on addressing alleged harm caused by the platform, including issues related to privacy breaches, misinformation, and negative mental health impacts.

  • Who filed the Facebook Harm Lawsuit?

    The lawsuit may have been filed by individuals, organizations, or regulatory bodies seeking accountability from Facebook for its actions and potential consequences.

  • What specific harms are addressed in the lawsuit?

    The lawsuit may cover a range of harms, such as data breaches, dissemination of harmful content, potential addiction concerns, and violations of users’ privacy.

  • What are the plaintiffs seeking to achieve through the lawsuit?

    The plaintiffs may be seeking various outcomes, including compensation for damages, changes in Facebook’s practices, increased user protection, and improved accountability measures.

  • How does the Facebook Harm Lawsuit impact users and the platform's future?

    The lawsuit’s outcome may lead to significant changes in Facebook’s policies, practices, and overall impact on user safety and experience. It could set precedents for other social media platforms as well.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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