AG Ellison asking Minnesotans to share stories of social media impacts

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office is asking Minnesotans to come forward with their stories of how social media platforms are affecting children and teenagers.

Attorney General Keith Ellison is inviting Minnesotans to visit a form on his office’s website to share how platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and others are impacting the physical and mental health of young people.

“It’s my job to protect Minnesotans, and right now I am deeply concerned that social media companies are preying on children and teenagers,” Ellison said in a prepared statement. “If you have a story about how social media has affected a young person in Minnesota, I am asking you to share that with my office. By sharing your stories, you will help us understand the harm these platforms are causing so we can better stop that bad behavior moving forward.”

The push for story submissions comes after Ellison joined more than 40 other attorneys general in a lawsuit against Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta Platforms, alleging that the company “knowingly designed and deployed harmful features” that “purposefully addict children and teens.”

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Ellison’s office also joined a national investigation into TikTok’s efforts to bolster engagement and screen time amongst young people in March 2022, and in May 2021, joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys encouraging Facebook to reconsider plans to launch a version of Instagram for kids under 13.

“We urgently need social media platforms to be responsible actors, given the tremendous power and influence they have,” Ellison added. ”Unfortunately, that’s just not happening right now. I will work to ensure these companies see children and teenagers as vulnerable people to be protected, not engines for profit.”