Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit 2024 | Filing Claims for Mental Health Effects from Social Media Use

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a potential Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit.

You can also contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Key takeaways:

  • Social media platforms, particularly those popular among teenagers, are being investigated for their potential role in exacerbating mental health issues.

  • Several studies have found a correlation between heavy social media use and mental health challenges, especially among younger users.

  • Major platforms like Facebook (Meta) face lawsuits alleging that their design choices knowingly contribute to mental health problems in young users.

Most Recent Updates:

  • Schools and individuals are increasingly filing lawsuits against major social media platforms, alleging harm to the mental health of teens and young adults, with a focus on the negative effects of platforms on children's well-being.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled "Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis," where CEOs, including Meta's Mark Zuckerberg, were questioned about their platforms' impact on teenagers and issued apologies for the harm caused.

  • The hearing highlighted bipartisan calls for legislative action to address online child exploitation and safety, including support for the Kids Online Safety Act (Kosa) and the STOP CSAM Act, amid discussions on platform responsibility and Section 230 legal protections.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview

Social media platforms are used by millions of people everyday to connect with others who have similar interests, post pictures, and keep up-to-date on the latest news.

The positive aspects of social media are varying, but there is a more serious matter to confront with these platforms: the mental health issues that have risen in young adults.

Social media platforms have become increasingly damaging for the mental health of teenage users.

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Social media harm lawsuits claim that social media companies are responsible for onsetting or heightening mental health problems, eating disorders, mood disorders, and other negative experiences of teens and children

You may be eligible to file a Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit if you are the parents of a teen, or teens, who attribute their use of social media platforms to their mental health problems.

Parents of teenage users who have taken their own life as a result of mental health problems linked to social media usage may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for legal action instantly.

Social media companies like Facebook (Meta), Instagram, TikTok (ByteDance), and others have evaded responsibility for putting teen mental health at risk, and these lawsuits aim to compensate victims for their injuries and damages.

Table of Contents

Lawsuit Updates

February 1, 2024

Schools and individuals are continuing to file lawsuits against major social media platforms for mental health effects on teens and young adults.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently conducted a hearing on “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis,” where CEOs of major tech companies, including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, faced intensive questioning regarding the potential harm of their products on teenagers.

During the hearing, Zuckerberg issued an apology, expressing remorse for the suffering experienced by families affected by these issues and committing to industry-wide efforts to prevent such harm.

The hearing, which featured executives such as Linda Yaccarino of X (formerly Twitter), Shou Zi Chew of TikTok, Evan Spiegel of Snap, and Jason Citron of Discord, concluded after four hours of scrutiny.

Senate Chair Dick Durbin called for bipartisan legislation to tackle the crisis of child sexual exploitation online.

The hearing included emotional testimonies from parents of children who tragically took their own lives due to online harms.

Discussions revolved around platform tools for child protection, Section 230 legal protections, and support for bills like the Kids Online Safety Act (Kosa) and the Stop CSAM Act.

Zuckerberg and Spiegel issued apologies directly to families affected by online harm during the hearing.

The Senate inquiry underscored concerns about the negative impact of social media on children’s mental health and the dissemination of child sexual abuse materials.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle advocated for a package of bills designed to enhance online safety for children, including the STOP CSAM Act.

Internal documents revealed that Zuckerberg had declined requests to expand the child safety team in 2021, prompting calls for more regulatory oversight of tech companies.

TikTok also faced scrutiny regarding its relationship with the Chinese government, which it denied.

Critics emphasized the need for congressional action to combat online child exploitation comprehensively.

Our law firm is continuing its investigation and we are speaking to clients daily about their situations.

If you or a loved one have experienced mental health effects due to social media use, you may be eligible to file a claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify.

February 1, 2024

What is the Social Media Mental Health or Social Media Addiction Lawsuit?

Lawsuits against social media companies have alleged that teens and children are suffering from mental health issues and other related disorders due to excessive use and exposure to harmful content.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has consolidated Social Media Harm Lawsuits into a single multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of California.

MDL 3047, the Social Media Adolescent Addiction/Personal Injury Products Liability Litigation provides a unified approach to handling claims that social media platforms contributed to mental health issues, and allows for more efficient legal proceedings and consistent rulings across similar cases.

The centralization in Northern California, a hub for many tech companies, indicates a strategic approach to litigate in a jurisdiction familiar with technology and its legal complexities, potentially influencing the outcome of these cases.

social media mental health problems in teenage users

Social Media Lawsuits center around the idea that social media companies like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat were intentionally designed to retain an audience of young users, and that in turn causes mental health problems.

This strategy, critics argue, has led to a surge in mental health issues among this demographic, as the platforms can create environments that exacerbate feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression.

The lawsuits allege that these companies not only designed their products with addictive features and algorithms, but also failed to provide warnings about the potential mental health risks associated with prolonged use of these platforms.

This lack of transparency and warning from social media companies is seen as a serious oversight, affecting younger, more impressionable users.

If your child has suffered from mental health problems, social media addiction, or other issues due to excessive social media use, you may be eligible to take action. 

Contact TorHoerman Law for more information on the Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit and for a free consultation. 

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the Social Media Harm Lawsuit instantly. 

How did the Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits Come About?

Lawsuits alleging mental health problems in teens and young adults due to social media use stemmed from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony before congress, as well as the release of leaked internal Facebook documents on teen mental health relating to their platform.

What Health Effects are Potentially Linked to Excessive Social Media Use?

What Health Effects are Potentially Linked to Excessive Social Media Use?

Lawsuits for health impacts from social media use include a variety of injuries or mental health effects, including the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Body dysmorphia and body image issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicide, self harm and suicidal ideation
  • Social media addiction and withdrawal
  • Sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual exploitation

Social Media Companies and Teen Mental Health Issues

Social media apps like Facebook (Meta), Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and others are used by teenagers around the world at extremely high rates.

With the extremely high rate of social media use by teens and children comes a high rate of potential mental health problems.

Paired with the social isolation of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the mental health impacts on vulnerable teens is at an all time high.

social media mental health statistics

According to the Pew Research Center, 45% of teens are on social media “almost constantly“, with an average over 60% using the top social media platforms daily.

A University of Pennsylvania study found that social media use increases depression and loneliness in teens.

The University of Pennsylvania study look at the social media sites Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and found that when teenage users engaged with social media sites for only a limited period per-day, their mental health took a dramatically positive turn.

Research on the rise in depression and anxiety in teens as it relates to social media use is fairly limited.

Efforts to expand knowledge on the issue include the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT), established to focus further research on these issues, promote social media safety, and strategize how social media users can change their relationships to certain platforms.

Facebook (Meta), Instagram, and Mental Health Problems in Teens

Facebook and Instagram have become a mainstay for teenage users of social media.

Instagram, more so than Facebook, is used by millions of teenagers on a daily basis and has been a catalyst in an increased risk for mental health problems in teens.

The Facebook Papers, leaked and published in an investigative series by the Wall Street Journal called the “Facebook Files” detail the internal research that Facebook employees completed.

The research at Facebook concluded that their platforms have a major impact on the mental health of young users, specifically teenage girls and young women.

Key findings from the Facebook papers include:

  • 66% of teen girls on Instagram experience negative social comparison
  • 52% of teen girls who experienced negative social comparison on Instagram said it was caused by images related to beauty and body image
  • 32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse
  • Harm on Instagram falls into three major categories: social comparison, social pressure, and negative interactions with other people
  • 82% of teens have felt at least one emotional issue in the past month, and one in five has thought about suicide or self-injury
  • The boundary between social media and in person relationships is often blurred, which can negatively impact self esteem and mental health in general.
  • Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Teenage users who struggle with mental health say that Instagram makes it worse and the positive aspects do not outweigh its negative impacts on self esteem and mental health

Learn more about the Instagram Mental Health Lawsuit here.

TikTok and Teen Mental Health Issues

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is among the most popular social media sites for teens and children.

The video platform is easy to use and understand, and filters users personal feeds according to an algorithm.

The negative effects of TikTok have been widely reported on and are now beginning to garner scientific research.

On TikTok, the worsening of mental health effects is an issue, as well as misdiagnosis of eating disorders, personality disorders, and other mental health issues.

Snapchat and Teen Mental Health Issues

Snapchat is a popular messaging and image sharing app used by teens around the world.

Much like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, Snap Inc. has been named in multiple lawsuits alleging mental health problems stemming from social media use.

Snapchat lends itself to excessive use in that users are encouraged to use the platform daily to keep their “streaks” – consecutive days they use the app to send messages to another user.

Excessive social media use has been proven to contribute to negative mental health effects in teens and young adults.

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) is a type of child pornography that refers to images or videos depicting sexual exploitation and the abuse of children online.

CSAM has been found on numerous social media sites, but has been especially rampant on Instagram.

This illegal and harmful content is spread within communities and groups on the platform, and Facebook (Meta) is aware of this, publishing a research study on the subject.

CSAM distribution is illegal and users can face criminal charges for partaking in the communities.

Legal action is being considered against social media companies for their part in allowing these communities to exist and for allowing vulnerable users to be exploited.

Learn more about the CSAM Lawsuit here.

Filing a Lawsuit for Social Media Mental Health Effects

Our law firm is investigating the claims against social media companies for mental illness caused by excessive usage.

Social media platforms have been proven to have negative effects on the mental well-being of teens and children who use them, and these lawsuits aim to compensate victims for the suffering that has been caused.

do i qualify for the social media mental health lawsuit?

TorHoerman Law: Investigating Legal Action Against Social Media Companies

TorHoerman Law and our associated law firms are investigating the potential litigation against social media companies.

We understand the detrimental effects social media can have on young people and how these massive companies have evaded responsibility for their part in the mental suffering of some teenage users.

social media mental health lawsuit attorneys

We are currently investigating and strategizing how to effectively move forward with legal action.

If you or a loved one have suffered from mental health problems potentially caused by social media usage, particularly Instagram, you may qualify for a claim.

Contact us today for a free consultation or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify instantly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does social media harm mental health?

    Multiple research studies and surveys have found that excessive social media use contributes to mental health problems, especially in younger users and young women specifically.

  • What do lawsuits against social media companies allege?

    These lawsuits allege that social media companies knew or should have known that their products are potentially unsafe for children.

    They claim that certain mental health problems in young people have been directly caused by excessive social media use, encouraged by the way that social media platforms are crafted.

  • What Are Potential Injuries in a Social Media Harm Lawsuit?

    Teens and young adults who have used social media sites and subsequently suffered from mental health impacts may be eligible for a lawsuit.

    If you or a loved one have suffered from any of the following, contact us for a free consultation: 

    • Depression or depressive symptoms
    • Anxiety
    • Eating Disorders
    • Body Dysmorphia
    • ADHD
    • Self harm or suicidal ideation
    • Any other diagnosed mental illnesses

  • What Are Potential Damages in a Social Media Harm Lawsuit?

    Damages in a personal injury lawsuit refer to any losses, economic or non-economic, incurred as a result of an incident.

    In a Social Media Harm Lawsuit, damages could include some of the following:

    • Medical treatment costs
    • Therapy costs
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional damage

    Other potential damages are possible.

    As the legal pressure on social media companies grows, more damages may become viable in claims for compensation.

  • Is this lawsuit a class action lawsuit?

    No. These lawsuits are pending to be certified as a multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDLs are a type of legal procedure used to speed the process of handling complex litigations by consolidating cases and addressing pretrial procedures in a single court.

    MDLs are consolidations of lawsuits with similar allegations and injuries, and are designed to ensure consistent rulings across cases with similar context.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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