Meta Platform and Snap were sued for the suicide of a teenager in a recent attempt by an advocacy group to blame social media giants for their platform addiction.
Christopher James Dowley, who went to CJ, was a college-bound honors student who played sports and enjoyed outdoor activities, but he was so deeply attracted to social media and obsessed with body image that he often took to Instagram at 3am. . Her mother filed the lawsuit in federal court on Monday.
In January 2014, while CJ’s family was cleaning Christmas decorations and about a month before his 17th birthday, he posted “Who turned off the lights?” On his Facebook page, he shot himself with a 22-caliber rifle in one hand, his smart phone in the other and shot himself, according to the complaint.
Similar to previous lawsuits filed by the Seattle-based Social Media Victims Law Center, the lawsuit alleges that Meta deliberately designed algorithms that stuck adolescents on their platforms to promote excessive use that they knew was indicative of addiction and self-destructive behavior.
“Neither Meta nor Snap warned users or their parents about the addictive and psychologically harmful effects that the use of their products was known to cause among underage users,” Donna Dowley said in her complaint.
Meta and Snap representatives did not respond to emails immediately after regular business hours asking for comments.
The case is Dawley v. Meta Platforms Inc., 22-cv-00444, US District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin.
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