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AG Wilson joins investigation into Instagram’s impact on youth

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)(Cliff Owen | AP)
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 2:47 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - SC Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined an investigation into Instagram’s impact on young people.

In a statement Thursday, Wilson said that the investigation is into Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), for promoting Instagram to children and young adults despite knowing it’s association with physical and mental harm.

The investigation includes a bipartisan group of attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont, according to Wilson.

“As adults, especially those of us who are parents, we need to realize that social media companies do everything they can to encourage our kids to be on their platforms for as long as possible and to get as much personal information about them as possible,” Wilson said. “That worries me, and it’s why attorneys general across the country need to use our authority under our consumer protection laws to investigate these social media platforms.”

Wilson cites Meta’s internal research that shows Instagram is associated with increased risks of physical and mental problems among children (i.e. eating disorders, depression and suicide).

Wilson has been addressing youth social media use for months. In May, he joined a group of attorneys general in urging Facebook to abandon plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13.

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