Colorado joins multistate investigation of potential misconduct by Facebook that harms children
Nov. 18, 2021 (DENVER)—Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced that the state has joined a multistate investigation into alleged willful practices by Facebook that harmed children.
Today’s announcement comes after the release of information related to Facebook’s internal research into the impact of its product on children. As investigative reporting of that issue revealed, the company knew for years of the risks its products, namely Instagram, created for kids—increased risks of physical and mental health harms on young people, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide. Despite knowing these risks, Facebook sat by and took no action to address them.
“The rise in importance of social media platforms in our lives demands public policy attention and law enforcement oversight,” Attorney General Weiser stated. “Our department is intensely focused on how we best protect kids, addressing rising teenage suicide and mental health concerns. A key part of that work is overseeing the conduct of social media platforms and ensuring that they are not harming our kids in violation of the law.”
This announcement follows prior actions by Attorney General Weiser, including calling on Congress to take action to empower a regulatory agency to oversee the conduct of social media platforms, urging Congress to bolster the antitrust laws, and highlighting the need to address the spread of misinformation online.
In May, Weiser pressed Facebook to explain its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13. Colorado is also leading an antitrust action against Google and is playing a leading role in the antitrust litigation against Facebook.