Oklahoma Attorney General joins investigation into Instagram’s alleged harmful effects on adolescents

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma’s Attorney General joined a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, and one of its platform’s impacts on young users.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge,” said Patrick Allmond, the owner of Focus Digital Media. “What we have to remember about these social media companies – they don’t actually provide any of the problems that are online. They just connect us.”

Friday, Attorney General John O’Connor signed onto an investigation into Instagram’s impact on kids. Several attorneys general have already signed on, accusing Meta of violating state consumer protection laws and putting the public at risk.

“What we have to remember about these social media companies, they don’t actually provide any of the problems that are online. They just connect us,” said Allmond. “Facebook, through the use of social media, could be putting the youth in danger just by connecting all of them.”

The group accuses the company of using techniques to keep kids hooked, increasing just how much and how often they open the app.

Allmond said you have to remember, the business gets its money from ads. It lures people in by connecting similar users and rewarding content creators who keep users engaged.

“It knows our interests and our viewing habits better than we do,” said the social media expert. “I think with enough protection it would be okay. With a lot of validation from parents it would be okay, but still it’s a very dangerous area right now.”

The AG’s office said Facebook and Instagram’s “…own internal research shows that using Instagram is associated with increased risks of physical and mental health harms on young people, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide.”

“If there are things that trigger me or trigger you when it comes to our mental health, or our self image or our self esteem, or our ego, when we get on social media we’re going to see things that make that even worse,” said Allmond. “I think often times we just need to do a better job as society and as parents to making sure our kids know what is proper online and what is improper online.”

AG O’Connor added his team is invested in protecting kids against social media’s harmful affects.

KFOR reached out to the Attorney General’s office, but were told no one was available to talk.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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