Holding Social Media Companies Accountable for Harming Children

Kids 12-16 had a 146% increase in suicide between 2007 & 2018

Our Recent Cases

Meta Platforms, Inc. and Snap, Inc. Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Causing the Suicide of 11-year-old Selena Rodriguez
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Meta Platforms, Inc. and Snap, Inc. Face Lawsuit for Product Liability, Sexual Discrimination on its Platforms by Oregon Family

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Social Media Harms Kids

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Social Media Victims Law Center Interviewed and Featured on CNN, Good Morning America, and ABC News.

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

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

Oregon Mother Files Lawsuit Against Meta and Snap, Inc.

Lawsuit alleges Instagram, Snapchat caused teen daughter deep harm.

Videos on Social Media

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

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

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Oregon Mother Files Lawsuit Against Meta and Snap, Inc. ​

Lawsuit alleges Instagram, Snapchat caused teen daughter deep harm.

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Social Media in the News

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.

Mother of 11-year-old who died by suicide sues social media firms Meta and Snap

The mother of an 11-year-old child, Selena Rodriguez, from Enfield, Conn. has filed a lawsuit against two social media giants, arguing a lack of adequate safeguards led her daughter to take her own life in July 2021.

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 suffered from depression and sleep deprivation after becoming addicted to Instagram and Snapchat, the girl’s mother alleged in a lawsuit.

 
 

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
FOUNDING ATTORNEY

super lawyer mathew bergman

Matthew Bergman is an attorney, law professor, philanthropist and community activist. He is the founder of the Social Media Victims Law Center, 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. Matt is nationally known for his work in product liability litigation and has recovered over $950 million on behalf of his clients.

Brendan Little
ATTORNEY

super lawyers brendan little

Brendan has dedicated his career to fighting for victims harmed by dangerous products and corporate wrongdoing. While practicing in New York City, Brendan represented children suffering from psychological injuries due to lead paint poisoning. He also represented multiple whistleblowers who assisted the government in recovering over $164 million in civil penalties from corporate wrongdoers who defrauded taxpayers. Brendan was also honored to be part of the legal team representing children harmed by lead poisoning as a result of Flint, Michigan water crisis, which eventually resulted in a settlement in excess of $600 million for the children of Flint.

Laura Marquez-Garrett has spent her twenty-year career handling complex litigation matters and business disputes. For the last decade of that, her focus and specialization has been on all things electronic discovery. Laura has served as special discovery counsel for clients and law firms, and has consulted on all manner of data and discovery-related innovations, issues, and disputes.

Madeline Bergman
ATTORNEY

Madeline joined Social Media Victims Law Center in March 2022 after spending approximately two years at Bergman Draper Oslund Udo as a full-time attorney as well as doing her internship there. She graduated from Linfield College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. In law school, she clerked for Waters Kraus and Paul in Los Angeles for two summers. Through her involvement in these two firms, she focused on and gained invaluable experience in the field of toxic tort litigation. The insights collected from her time there helped stem her passion for holding corporations accountable for the injuries they cause.

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.