Everywhere we go, we’re surrounded by people, especially the younger generation, transfixed to their cell phones. Studies have shown how social media can be an addicting and often harmful pastime for young people and most of our society in general.
If you or your child has been harmed as a result of social media use, you may be eligible to bring a social media lawsuit. The Lawsuit Legal News team has compiled some of the common social media lawsuit FAQs (frequently asked questions) we answer regularly to provide some background information.
15 frequently asked questions (FAQs) about social media youth harm lawsuits
What kind of harm may be caused by social media platforms to young people?
Social media platforms may harm young people by causing various issues such as addiction, depression, poor body image, suicidal thoughts, bullying, and harassment. These harms can be a result of exposure to harmful content, cyberbullying, unrealistic beauty standards, and excessive screen time, among other factors.
Can we sue social media platforms for harm caused to our child?
Yes, in some cases, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit against social media platforms and companies if they have been negligent in protecting young users from harmful content or if they have failed to implement adequate safety measures to prevent cyberbullying and harassment.
Also, some lawsuits are claiming the social media companies are purposefully designing their platforms to focus on young users and encourage their online addiction in order to tap into this highly profitable target market. In other words, social media companies are realizing huge profits from the harm they are causing young users.
What is the legal basis for suing social media platforms for youth harm?
Lawsuits against social media platforms for youth harm can be based on various legal theories, including negligence, failure to warn, product liability, and breach of duty to provide a safe environment for young users.
Can we hold the social media platforms liable even if our child’s account was created with a false age?
Possibly. Under one legal theory, social media platforms have a duty to protect young users, even if their accounts were created with false ages. The companies should implement measures to identify and protect underage users and prevent them from accessing age-inappropriate content.
How can a lawyer prove that the harm was caused by the social media platform?
Proving how a social media platform harmed your child can be complex. It’s best to work with a dedicated social media harm attorney who will gather evidence of harmful content, cyberbullying incidents, or data indicating increased screen time and its correlation to the negative mental health impacts your child is suffering.
Is there a class action lawsuit that we could join against social media companies responsible for our child’s harm?
At this point there is no class-action lawsuit because the harms suffered by young people and the platforms that cause the harm are so different. However, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been created in the Northern District of California to consolidate federal claims brought against the big social media companies.
In an MDL, federal cases across the country are grouped together to expedite the litigation process and ensure all parties receive the same evidence and are bound by the same court rulings. Currently, the MDL names Meta Platforms, Inc. (owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Threads), Alphabet Inc. (owner of Google and YouTube), Snap Inc. (owner of Snapchat), and ByteDance Inc. (owner of TikTok). Be sure to check out our Social Media Lawsuit Updates page for the latest news about the pending social media harm lawsuits.
What type of compensation can we seek for our child’s harm?
Compensation in youth harm lawsuits can include past and future medical expenses, therapy and counseling costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and in severe cases, future care and support for long-term consequences. If social media contributed to someone’s death, certain family members may be able to bring a wrongful death claim as well.
Are there any time limitations for filing a lawsuit against social media platforms?
Yes, there are statutes of limitations that set a specific time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed. The time frame varies depending on the state and the type of claim, so it’s crucial to consult an attorney promptly to avoid missing the deadline and your opportunity to recover compensation for your losses.
Can social media platforms claim immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act?
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides certain protections to online platforms from liability for content generated by third-party users. However, these protections have limitations, and platforms may still be held accountable if they knowingly engage in harmful practices or fail to act against harmful content.
Will we need to provide evidence of our child’s emotional distress in the lawsuit?
Yes, evidence of emotional distress is essential in proving the harm caused to your child. This may include medical records, therapy sessions, testimonies from mental health professionals, and accounts from family and friends about changes in your child’s behavior.
Can we sue individual users who bullied or harassed our child on social media?
Yes, in certain situations, it may be possible to bring a separate lawsuit against individuals responsible for bullying or harassment. However, it is often more practical to pursue legal action against the social media platform for enabling and allowing such harmful behavior.
How long does a social media youth harm lawsuit typically take to resolve?
The duration of a lawsuit can vary depending on many factors, such as the complexity of the case, the court’s caseload, and the willingness of the defendant to settle. Some lawsuits may be resolved within months, while others can take several years. An experienced social media harm lawyer can explain what to expect during a free consultation.
Can we take legal action against the social media platform if our child’s information was shared without consent?
Yes, if the social media platform failed to adequately protect your child’s privacy or allowed their information to be shared without proper consent, you may have grounds for a lawsuit based on privacy violations.
Can we still pursue legal action if our child’s account has been deactivated or deleted?
Yes, even if the social media account is no longer active, you may still be able to pursue legal action if the harm was caused during the account’s existence. The evidence and records of the account’s activity may still be retrievable.
How can we find the best lawyer to handle our social media youth harm lawsuit?
To find the right lawyer, look for a personal injury attorney with experience in handling similar cases, preferably one with a background in online privacy and technology law. Seek recommendations, review online reviews and ratings, and schedule consultations to discuss your case before making a decision.
The team of legal professionals at Lawsuit Legal News has extensive experience handling mass tort, personal injury, and social media cases and we’re here to answer all your questions during a free consultation.
Contact a Dedicated Social Media Youth Harm Lawsuit Attorney Today
If you or your child has been harmed by social media, you have rights. Since every situation is different, it’s best to reach out to a skilled social media lawyer to fully understand your legal options. Call 866-467-0943 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation with our tenacious team of social media legal professionals today.