Meta was accused of irresponsibility towards underage children

Emre Çitak
Nov 27, 2023

A newly unsealed document in a lawsuit filed against Meta by 33 states sheds further light on the company's alleged practices regarding underage users. The complaint, which was first obtained by The New York Times, claims that Meta has not only been aware of the presence of children under the age of 13 on its platforms, but has also actively "coveted and pursued" this demographic for years, particularly on Instagram.

The document alleges that Meta has been dishonest about its handling of underage user accounts, often failing to disable them even when they are reported. The company is also accused of continuing to collect data from underage users without parental consent.

Meta lawsuit children
The unsealed document in the lawsuit against Meta reveals allegations that the company actively pursued and coveted users under the age of 13

The allegations

The complaint alleges that Meta has "coveted and pursued" the under-13 demographic for years, despite knowing that its platforms are not designed for children and can be harmful to their physical and mental health. The company has reportedly failed to effectively verify users' ages, and it has continued to collect data from underage users without parental consent.

The complaint also alleges that Meta has used a number of deceptive practices to attract and retain underage users. These practices include:

  • Designing its platforms to be appealing to children
  • Failing to take adequate steps to protect underage users from harmful content
  • Exposing underage users to potentially harmful advertising

The complaint alleges that Meta's actions have violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a federal law that prohibits the collection of data from children under the age of 13 without parental consent. The complaint also alleges that Meta's actions have caused harm to underage users, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

Meta has denied the allegations in the complaint, but the unsealed documents provide a disturbing picture of the company's practices. If the allegations are found to be true, Meta could face billions of dollars in fines and other penalties.

Read alsoReasons behind the Twitter Threads lawsuit.

Meta's response

In response to the lawsuit, Meta has proposed a new requirement that would give parents more control over their children's app downloads. The company has also called for federal legislation to put more responsibility on parents when it comes to kids' online safety.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Robenroute said on November 28, 2023 at 9:28 am

    To me, Meta’s response shows a staggering disregard for children’s well-being. Of course, parents should be engaged in their children’s upbringing. Clearly, parents carry responsibility for what their children do. But pointing at others instead of making an effort to help children is definitely not the way to go. This borders on criminal behaviour.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.