Instagram lawsuits claim platform fuels eating disorders, mental health issues for young users

An Instagram logo is seen on the screen of a smartphone. (Photo by Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The families of two girls who suffered from eating disorders are suing Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc, the owner of Instagram, accusing the social media website of fueling such behavior and other mental health problems in teenage users. 

The lawsuits were filed by the families, both of which are represented by Laura Marquez-Garrett of the Social Media Victims Law Center, in San Francisco on Monday. 

The lawsuit alleges Instagram, a platform where users post pictures and videos, caused the girls to become addicted to the service and develop depression, anxiety and anorexia, Reuters reported. 

Both girls attempted suicide and were hospitalized several times, the lawsuit said. One had to have a feeding tube after she refused to eat. 


The lawsuit said Meta knew people became addicted to the platform and that it failed to verify the age of users, thus allowing people to join at age 12 and failed to shield them from sexual messages. 

Both lawsuits also alleged that the algorithm recommended "'friends' who were, in fact, adult Instagram users either suffering from these mental health issues themselves or using the Instagram product to find and exploit young girls," the Reuters report said.

The filing is the latest in a string of lawsuits alleging Meta alleging harm to minors' mental health.

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