Ashley Moody probes Facebook’s youth marketing strategies

ashley moody
The investigation comes after a trove of documents exposed possible harmful impacts on youth.

Don’t count on Attorney General Ashley Moody to hit the like button. Florida’s top cop is the lead investigator in a national inquiry against Facebook/Meta.

Moody is spearheading a multistage investigation into the techniques and practices of Meta and the company’s impact on youth, according to a press release.

“We have serious concerns about how social media is impacting the lives of young people in this country, and as a mother, I want to know how Facebook/Meta is targeting youth and what strategies this Big Tech giant is using to entice children and teens to lengthen engagement on its platforms,” Moody said.

The investigation comes weeks after documents — known as the Facebook Papers — exposed a trove of internal secrets including questionable efforts by Facebook to hook young users.

The documents also showed Big Tech leaders are aware of negative consequences associated with lengthy social media use, particularly on Instagram.

Those effects, the docs show, include depression, eating disorders and suicide.

“I am proud to lead these efforts with our partner states to find out if Meta violated any consumer protection laws and put our children at risk,” Moody said.

Notably, this isn’t Moody’s first run in with Big Tech. Moody is among dozens of attorneys general accusing Facebook of “anticompetitive business practices.” She also called on Instagram — a Facebook company — to scrap plans for a children’s version of the photo-focused app.

The social media giant postponed the plan amid mounting criticism. The app would’ve catered to children 13-years-old and younger.

More recently, Moody called on Facebook to do more to thwart human trafficking on the platform.

“Big Tech should be helping us end human trafficking, not providing an avenue for predators to solicit and groom minors,” Moody said.

She is joined by attorneys general from California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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