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Suicide: Are Facebook and Instagram a driving force?

July 26, 2022

Statistica reported that Facebook acted on approximately 6.8 million pieces of content that went against their community standards on encouraging suicide or self-injury, up from 6.1 million pieces of content in the preceding quarter. Facebook has updated its policies around self-harm to no longer allow certain graphic self-harm images, prohibiting additional content that may promote eating disorders and display a sensitivity screen over healed self-harm cuts to help avoid unintentionally promoting self-harm. Why then are there increased reports of suicides among users of Facebook and Instagram after negative online interactions?  Families who have lost a loved one through suicide due to a negative social media interaction should contact experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers to discuss their concerns and see if they have a case for damages against Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.

Suicide in Michigan.

A popular teenager in Michigan died in the spring after online “sextortion” through Instagram.  He was prodded through another user pretending to be a young female to take compromising pictures of himself and provide them to the user who then extorted him to pay money, or they would release the pictures to his Instagram followers and family.  This is only one method of severe bullying on the Instagram platform.  The family is taking legal action against the social media platforms and attempting to educate families about the dangers of Facebook and Instagram.

Dangers of Instagram.

Facebook and Instagram social media platforms are aware of the impact they have on developing minds, and the overuse and misuse of their products.  The ability to sway a young mind into activities they would not otherwise think of is a problem associated with the unrealistic expectations of themselves and others perceived in online “perfection,” in addition to bullying capabilities that have resulted in teen deaths across the country.

  • Predatorial behavior – criminally driven pedophiles or other predators have a window into an adolescent’s life, home and living schedule which may even add to the possibility of home invasions or stalking behaviors.
  • Addiction – the platform includes attractive features to lure users to spend hours perusing stories and other followers’ information often leading to a feeling of inadequacy and sadness.
  • Questionable content – much of the platform’s content is unfiltered and may contain inappropriate videos and pictures, violent content, or adult-themed content.
  • Negative privacy impact – users’ information may be compromised by hackers or the users themselves when they do not set up safety privacy walls.
  • Influencers – social media influencers have their own agenda and “age-old advice is for individuals not to be influenced by others” – here lays the tragedy of young social media users leading to the need for a product or a growing disdain of the way they look thanks to the false perfection of many “influencers” with whom they compare themselves.

Social media victim criteria:

To build a case against social media platforms, the victim must have used on or both of Facebook or Instagram, began use before the age of 21, utilizes the platforms for more than 3 hours per day and suffered or suffers from various behavioral health issues including ADD, ADHD, depression and anxiety, and body dysmorphic illness including anorexia and bulimia, but the worst of is suicidal ideation or the act itself.

Lawsuits for social media may be based on improper or non-existent warnings to the dangers posed by their use.  It is beneficial to consult with a Michigan Facebook lawsuit attorney at the Neumann Law Group if you are concerned with harmful losses to your family through mental illness, depression and suicide.

Litigation.

Michigan personal injury attorneys  at the Neumann Law Group may prove negligence through witness testimony from the behavioral health, medical, technological design, and consumer protection specialties, and using scientific evidence supporting associated mental health risks, crises and statistical death numbers related to social media.

 

Neumann Law Group

Traverse City

300 E Front St #445
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: (231) 221-0050
Fax: (231) 221-0051

Sources:

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1072509/facebook-suicide-and-self-injury-removal-quarter/#statisticContainer
  2. https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/[email protected]/part6/chapter171&edition=prelim
  3. The Cognitive and Psychosocial Development of Adolescents | Psychology Paper Example (psychologywriting.com)
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