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Zuckerberg isn't on the hook for kids' Instagram addiction, a judge just ruled

Alexandra Bacon   

Zuckerberg isn't on the hook for kids' Instagram addiction, a judge just ruled
  • Zuckerberg has avoided personal liability in 25 cases that accuse Meta of fuelling social media addiction.
  • The judge granted his motion to dismiss on Monday, but the case against Meta still stands.

A judge has granted Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's motion to dismiss 25 cases that alleged he was personally responsible for Instagram and Facebook fuelling social media addiction.

US district judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers's ruling on Monday excused Zuckerberg from being held personally liable while the case against Meta still stands.

The cases filed sought to hold Zuckerberg personally responsible for keeping children hooked on Meta products. They alleged that the Meta CEO has control over design decisions that targeted higher user engagement and accused him of ignoring warnings that his platforms were unsafe for kids.

The judge said that Zuckerberg couldn't be held liable just because he has a public-facing role at Meta. The ruling aligns with the legal approach that sees executives typically shielded from personal liability.

"The "plaintiffs' theory would invert the states' "confidential" or "special" relationship requirements by creating a duty to disclose for any individual recognizable to the public. The Court will not countenance such a novel approach here," Rogers ruled.

Rogers is also overseeing hundreds of other lawsuits against social media companies, including Alphabet, Bytedance, and Snap, which accuse the platforms of causing negative mental and physical health effects in children due to social media addiction, per Reuters.

Meta is facing lawsuits by two tribal nations, who are accusing the company, along with Google, TikTok, and Snapchat of fostering social media addiction. They accuse social media companies of contributing to high suicide rates by purposefully getting kids hooked on the platforms.


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