Iowa Joins Instagram Investigation Into Algorithms Targeting Kids

Mixed race girl texting with cell phone on sofa

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(Des Moines, IA) -- Iowa is joining a national investigation into Instagram and its possible effects on children and young adults.

A bipartisan group of attorneys general are looking into possible consumer protection law violations. Part of the investigation will look into how algorithms capture the attention of children and how content affects their physical, emotional, and mental health well-being.

The investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc, formerly known as Facebook targets techniques used to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and resulting harms caused by the extended engagement.

“I’m increasingly concerned about how Instagram’s algorithms capture the attention of children and how its content affects their physical, emotional, and mental well-being,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said.

Meta’s 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. 

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