146% Increase in Suicide
in Youth Ages 12 to 16 Between 2007 and 2018

“I am here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children.” – Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen Testifying Before the U.S. Senate October 5, 2021

Recent Social Media Cases

Meta Platforms, Inc. and Snap, Inc. Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Causing the Suicide of 11-year-old Selena Rodriguez
snapchat logo on phone

SAN FRANCISCO – JANUARY 20, 2021 – Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC), a legal resource for parents of teenage victims suffering from depression, an eating disorder, hospitalization, sexual exploitation, self-harm or suicide as a result of social media cyberbullying, today announced it has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc., and Snap, Inc. to hold each accountable in the death of 11-year-old Selena Rodriguez of Enfield, Conn., on July 21, 2021 by suicide caused by the defective design, negligence and unreasonably dangerous features of their products. 

Meta Platforms, Inc. and Snap, Inc. Face Lawsuit for Product Liability, Sexual Discrimination on its Platforms by Oregon Family
meta logo on phone

PORTLAND, ORE. –  JANUARY 20, 2021 – Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC), a legal resource for teenage victims suffering from depression, an eating disorder, hospitalization, sexual exploitation, self-harm or suicide as a result of social media cyberbullying, today announced it has filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc., and Snap, Inc. to hold each accountable for the harm their social media products have caused due to defective design, negligence, unreasonably dangerous features available to minors, and sexual discrimination by a place of public accommodation.  

Impact of Social Media

Social media has become a normal part of everyday life. As parents, we take for granted that companies such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have our teenager’s best interests at heart.

However, recent disclosures have revealed that Social Media Platforms use complex algorithms and psychological manipulation to maximize screen time allowing damaging posts and hurtful communications to be fed to vulnerable kids.

Effects of this include a 146 percent increase in suicide for the 12-16 age group from 2007 to 2018 which experts have attributed to their increased social media and screen time.

Other serious problems include depression, eating and sleeping disorders, hospitalization, sexual exploitation and attempted suicide. If you are a parent whose child was harmed by social media use or addiction, your child attempted or committed suicide, has severe mental health crises or suffered sexual abuse or exploitation brought on by social media use, please call us.

DEPRESSION

ANXIETY

EATING DISORDER

BODY IMAGE

SUICIDE

SELF-ESTEEM

Videos on Social Media

Senator Mike Lee Has Fiery Exchange with Head of Instagram

“Why are you recommending that a 13-year-old girl follow a site with the understanding that by doing so you are exposing that girl to all sorts of other things that are not suitable for any child?”

Senator Marsha Blackburn Presses Head of Instagram

“You have broken these children’s’ lives and you have broken these parent’s hearts. . .Have some empathy and take some responsibility” – Senator Marsha Blackburn

Senator Amy Klobuchar presses Mosseri on his company's marketing tactics for teens

“Our kids aren’t cash cows” – Senator Amy Klobuchar

Videos on Social Media

Senator Mike Lee Has Fiery Exchange with Head of Instagram​

“Why are you recommending that a 13-year-old girl follow a site with the understanding that by doing so you are exposing that girl to all sorts of other things that are not suitable for any child?”

Senator Mike Lee

Senator Marsha Blackburn Presses Head of Instagram​

“You have broken these children’s’ lives and you have broken these parent’s hearts. . .Have some empathy and take some responsibility” – Senator Marsha Blackburn

Senator Marsha Blackburn

Senator Amy Klobuchar presses Mosseri on his company's marketing tactics for teens ​

“Our kids aren’t cash cows” – Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Social Media in the News

New York Post: Mom sues Instagram, Snapchat companies after 11-year-old’s suicide

Meta and Snap are being sued in federal court by a woman who says her daughter killed herself after developing an “extreme addiction” to the platforms.

Bloomberg: Meta, Snap Sued Over Social Media ‘Addicted’ Girl’s Suicide

Meta Platforms Inc. and Snap Inc. are to blame for the suicide of an 11-year-old who was addicted to Instagram and Snapchat, the girl’s mother alleged in a lawsuit.

Insurance Journal: Mother Sues Meta, Snap Over ‘Addicted’ Daughter’s Suicide

The woman claims her daughter Selena Rodriguez struggled for two years with an “extreme addiction” to Meta’s photo-sharing platform and Snap’s messaging app before taking her life last year.

U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory

us surgeon general
Dr. Vivek Murthy

U.S. Surgeon General Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health

A Surgeon General’s Advisory is a public statement that calls the American people’s attention to an urgent public health issue and provides recommendations for how it should be addressed. Advisories are reserved for significant public health challenges that need the nation’s immediate awareness and action.

U.S. Surgeon General Calls on Social Media Companies to Design Safer Products to Protect Vulnerable Teens

“in recent years, national surveys of youth have shown major increases in certain mental health symptoms, including depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. From 2009 to 2019, the proportion of high school students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40%;…”

Parent Resources

Who We Are

Matthew P. Bergman
OF COUNSEL

super lawyer mathew bergman

Matthew Bergman is an attorney, law professor, philanthropist and community activist. He is senior partner of Bergman Draper Oslund Udo; a professor at Lewis & Clark Law school and serves on the board of directors of nonprofit institutions in higher education, national security, civil rights, worker protection and the arts.

 

Recognition, Awards and Honors:

  • Washington Super Lawyers (since 2005)
  • National Trial Lawyers – Top 100
  • Political Organizer for the AFL-CIO, Voter Registration and Education Campaigns
  • Lewis & Clark Law School Distinguished Graduate Award 2009

Brendan Little
OF COUNSEL

super lawyers brendan little
Brendan Little joined Bergman Draper Oslund Udo as an associate attorney in 2019. Prior to joining the firm, Brendan worked at a prominent New York City plaintiffs’ firm representing individuals who had been exposed to asbestos in talcum powder products, as well as whistleblowers and children harmed by lead in paint and the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Recognition, Awards and Honors:

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star 2019 (New York)
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star 2021 (Seattle)

What Our Clients Say

Frequently Asked Questions

Studies have shown that social media is correlated to increased feelings of depression among its users. This trend is especially visible in adolescents, highlighted by another study that connects increased screen time among teenagers with a higher risk of depression and suicide.

According to a 2017 study, the use of social media platforms led to lower body satisfaction and self-esteem in young women. Further, the social comparison that social media promotes is tied to body dissatisfaction arising from comparisons to models and actresses who are standard in today’s media.

If your teenager is using social media for more than 120 minutes every day, this should trigger concern as a parent. If your teenager is engaging in social media in unhealthy ways such as cyber-bullying or “sexting”, this should also warrant immediate concern and be addressed as soon as possible.

Maryville University stated some helpful guidelines parents should follow for social media safety:

  • Go over privacy settings in every application your teens’ use
  • Implement parental controls on kids’ apps and games
  • Remind your child that everything that goes out on the internet stays there forever, and encourage them to “think before they post.”
  • Use adblocking software to limit exposure to inappropriate advertisements
  • Have a family computer that’s shared, making monitoring easier

Help Us Help Your Children

The Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC) works to hold social media companies legally accountable for the harm they inflict on the most vulnerable users, your children.