For Immediate Release
November 18, 2021
Kevin P.J. Scura, Attorney
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
New Hampshire Joins Nationwide Investigation into Instagram’s Impact on Young People
Concord - Attorney General Formella today joined a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform – Instagram – to children and young adults despite knowing that such use is associated with physical and mental health harms. Attorneys General across the country are examining whether the company violated state consumer protection laws and put the public at risk.
“I, along with many other attorneys general, am troubled and concerned about the effects that social media platform engagement policies have on the safety and wellbeing of New Hampshire’s youth,” said Attorney General Formella. “This multistate investigation will scrutinize Meta’s business practices to determine if they put young people at risk in violation of New Hampshire law.”
The investigation targets, among other things, the techniques utilized by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement. Today’s announcement follows recent reports revealing that Meta’s own internal research shows that using Instagram is associated with increased risks of physical and mental health harms on young people, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide. Attorney General Formella has long been concerned about the negative impacts of social media platforms on New Hampshire’s youngest residents. In May, a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general, including Attorney General Formella, urged Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.