Utah Governor Announces State Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies

Utah Governor Announces State Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies

In the era of digital connectivity, social media platforms have become an integral part of the lives of millions of young users worldwide. The ability to share experiences, connect with friends, and express oneself online has undoubtedly transformed communication and social dynamics. However, alongside the positive aspects of social media, a darker reality has emerged: the potential for harm inflicted on vulnerable youth.

As concerns over cyberbullying, online harassment, and harmful content escalate, the rise of youth social media harm lawsuits seeks to strike a balance between digital freedoms and the imperative to protect young users from harm.

If you or a loved one has been has suffered significant injury or harm as a result of social media, we urge you to consult an experienced attorney in your area that specialized in addressing youth-related harm caused by online platforms.

Utah Legislation and Lawsuits Targeting Social Media

Over the years, social media has surged in popularity and become a widely used platform for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with each other. However, tech companies focusing on profit has overshadowed the safety of their users. As a consequence, social media has transformed into a potentially hazardous space, particularly for vulnerable youth. The Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox, has announced he is getting ready to sue these social media companies for the harm they have caused to their young users. 

Governor Cox signed legislation earlier this year that will change the way children use social media. This law that takes effect next year will set a curfew for those that are under 18 years old and require parental consent to sign up for these sites. Though it will be difficult to enforce, the legislation's primary goal is to provide families with greater control over their child's social media usage, particularly due to recent research highlighting a causal link between social media use and an increase in mental health issues such as suicide, anxiety, depression, and self-harm.

What Harm Can Social Media Cause?

The following are different ways social media can negatively impact children:

Negative Body Image and Eating Disorders

For young individuals, particularly young girls, body image and appearance hold significant importance. A study conducted by the University of Haifa revealed that escalated social media usage may trigger adverse effects, leading to a negative body image and the development of various eating disorders among adolescents.

These eating disorders, known to have the highest mortality rates among psychological conditions, often inflict immense financial burdens, resulting in 48% higher healthcare costs and 48% lower earnings compared to the general population.

Anxiety, Depression, and Mental Health

Numerous studies have established a concerning link between social media use and heightened rates of depression and anxiety, accompanied by increased feelings of loneliness. These adverse psychological symptoms can manifest in decreased academic performance, diminished social interactions, and profound health implications affecting bodily functions, such as kidney health and the immune system.

Self-Harm and Suicide

Some victims of social media harm may find themselves overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and despair, which has the potential to lead to self-harm. Research has found a concerning correlation between cyberbullying and increased suicidal thoughts and tendencies. 

Addressing the concerns of suicidal teens can prove challenging for friends and family, emphasizing the importance of seeking professional assistance in such circumstances. If you or someone you know is suffering from self-harm or suicidal thoughts it is imperative to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Text TALK to 741741.

Bullying and Harassment

The prevalence of cyberbullying, harassment, and hate speech on social media platforms exposes teens and young people to routine victimization. Regrettably, those subjected to such harmful behaviors often deal with the difficult feelings of shame and embarrassment, which hinders them from attempting to seek help or support from parents or teachers.

Signs of Psychological Harm Inflicted by Social Media Usage

It is important to be aware of the signs that a loved one may be suffering in silence. The signs that they may be suffering from social media harm or suicidal thoughts can include the following:

  • Withdrawing from normal activities
  • Talking about feeling worthless
  • Talking about having no reason to live
  • Engaging in alcohol or drug use
  • Unusual sleeping patterns
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Giving away possessions that are special to them

Social Media Harm Lawsuits

In October 2022, a London courtroom delivered a landmark ruling that held Instagram and other social media companies responsible for the suicide of a 14-year-old girl. The court determined that the self-harm and depressive content she had access to on her Instagram page significantly influenced her tragic decision. This ruling marked one of the first instances where social media platforms were held accountable for the death of one of their users.

With the world of social media always changing, having an expert social media harm attorney on your side can make all the difference in building a case. We urge you to reach out to a social media harm lawyer as soon as possible so you can be advised of your legal options. A social media harm lawsuit may be able to provide compensation to deal with the many damages related to social media youth harm.

How Can a Mass Tort Lawyer Help You?

After being harmed by social media you need a personal injury lawyer that is experienced in the ever-evolving field of social media litigation. Your attorney should be able to help your case in the following ways:

  • Identify the party that the claim needs to be filed against
  • Calculate the total value of your damages including pain and suffering and any possible medical costs
  • Answer any questions you might have about the litigation process
  • Negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
  • Go to trial if a proper settlement cannot be reached

Contact a Social Media Harm Lawyer

These adverse effects can have far-reaching consequences on families and loved ones. If you or someone you hold dear has experienced harm due to the use of social media platforms like Facebook or any other online medium, we strongly encourage you to consult with a qualified attorney. Social media, while connecting us, also holds the potential to wreak havoc on the lives of those we cherish. Remember that you need not suffer in silence.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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