Meta’s Instagram which is an attention-seeking social media site has been receiving unwelcome attention through lawsuits. Through an attorney from the Social Media Victims Law Center Two families have filed lawsuits against Instagram and claiming that the company’s social media presence has caused the daughters’ eating disorders.
What is the best way to hold the social media company accountable for the harm it causes its users? The attorney is seeking to sue under law governing product liability.
What exactly is product liability?
Product liability is the responsibility that sellers and producers must not harm customers through defective products. States are governed by laws regarding product liability which allow plaintiffs to sue for strict liability, negligence or violation of warranty.
What are the three types of defective Products?
Three types of products that are defective in liability lawsuits. The company that made the product was responsible for it and then marketed their product without adequate warnings, or created the product with a harmful flaw.
They are difficulties caused by manufacturing defects. In the example above, if you purchased a chair but they utilized the wrong screws for assembling the chair and the chair falls apart when you sit down because of the incorrect screws, it could be a sign of a manufacturing defect. If you are injured due to the chair falling down and you are injured, you can file an injury lawsuit against the maker.
When a producer develops and manufactures an item that is likely to create injury or harm They must inform the customer of possible dangers. Marketing problems arise in the event that the manufacturer does not announce or provide warnings about possible harm that could result from using the product. There are three categories of marketing defect.
Inability to warn
A business is accountable when the advertising it uses is false and fails to highlight the risks. Take a look at the ads for pharmaceutical medications. The majority of them contain lengthy declarations of disclaimers as well as warnings regarding adverse consequences.
Not enough directions for use
If a company does not follow the correct instructions consumers can file a lawsuit for any foreseeable damage that occurs in the following. A company, for instance, selling hair dryers knows that their products, used primarily in bathrooms, may cause harm. The two are not compatible. So, the manufacturer will mark the hair dryer, or add on the label directions that consumers should avoid using the hair dryer in areas that are wet.
Incorrect or false statements regarding products can expose an organization to lawsuits. Snapchat was able to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for fraudulent advertising. Snapchat stated that photos uploaded disappeared in perpetuity. This was the case However, Snapchat was misleading its users regarding privacy security.
The term “design defects” refers to items designed by companies with the intention of creating them however the product’s design may have inherent weaknesses when users make use of the product according to the specifications.
The laundry detergent manufacturer Tide decided to shake up its line of products and break out of the mold of “food mimicking style.” Tide created single-use “pods” which resembled candy with regard to color and style. They caused a lot of difficulties when children consumed the pods. A third social media platform has added to the misconception that pods could be eaten. A lot of kids dragged one another to eat the pods with vibrant colors during an “Tide pod challenge.”
Are Instagram accountable for design errors?
Instagram, just like other social media platforms, employs algorithms solely for the purpose of providing specific content to customers. As per the Social Media Victims Law Center the businesses “use sophisticated algorithms as well as psychological tricks to enhance the amount of time spent on screens, allowing harmful posts and harmful content that are fed to children who are at risk.”
For example, teens who have unsatisfied with their body might look up diets or articles about how to look better. The algorithm processes that information in order to provide more content for teenagers. This can increase body discomfort and eventually result in eating issues. As Instagram’s algorithms function in accordance with their structure, they could be creating psychological damage to vulnerable youngsters, leading to physical injuries.
Are There Alternative Designs? Alternative Design?
The plaintiff has to prove that there exists a viable alternative, which means that the plaintiff had a “feasible acceptable, reasonable design that could have mitigated or even prevented damage to the plaintiff.”
Meaning The meaning is: If Instagram could tweak its algorithms in order to stop certain kinds of content from being viewed by children who are at risk Why don’t they? Instagram might argue in defence that the layout isn’t effective or that the cost of this alternative approach outweigh its benefits.
We’ll see if the product liability laws will make social media companies accountable. Lawmakers are also taking note. In the 2022 State of the Union address Biden called on Congress to adopt laws that regulate over social media businesses as well as prohibiting the targeting of online advertisements at children.
It’s not necessary to solve the problem on your own. Seek the help of a lawyer
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