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A mother discusses the responsibility of Meta and Snapchat for the suicide of her daughter

Tammy Rodriguez, the mother of a late daughter, has sued the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, accusing these platforms of contributing to addiction and causing the suicide of her late daughter Selena. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California Court in San Francisco.

For years, social media companies have been the target of various lawsuits related to harms affecting minors, often for failing to properly prevent such harm from recurring. This is precisely the case of a teenager who committed suicide following intimidation via the Snapchat messaging application.

On this point, the mother of the deceased strongly maintains that these platforms are only designed to generate fundamentally harmful incidents, such as the case of her daughter.

Overreliance on social media led to the suicide of a daughter of 11 years

For two years, Selena suffered from an overreliance on the media social, a fact that has been confirmed by a psychiatrist. According to her mother’s statement, the overuse of social media led her daughter to neglect her studies and even caused eating disorders, lack of sleep, depression and self-harm. And she ended up killing herself.

Furthermore, the general conditions of use of Instagram and Snapchat indicate that the minimum age to open an account is 13 year. However, Selena is still too young to be admitted to both platforms. Which means that the parental control of these platforms is faulty and vulnerable because they could not prevent a girl from years of having access to services. Tammy Rodriguez also claimed during the trial that the only way to stop her daughter from accessing social media was to confiscate her mobile devices.

The social media solely responsible for this over-reliance on underage users?

Rodriguez argues Snapchat’s unexpected rewards are the same as the machine games, promoted to teenage users to make them addicted, except that for Snap users, the damage is even more sensitive and dangerous. According to her, Instagram is also a way to exploit the sensitivity of the user by promising unpredictable and uncertain rewards, in the form of likes and followers. She therefore views social media as a threat to the well-being of teens and prepubescents.

However, the Educational Policy Institute study reveals that social media is not the only responsible for this excessive dependence. Parents also play a role in this problem. Parents should lead by example in teaching their children how to use technology devices in a healthy way. Additionally, Engadget has attempted to obtain Meta and Snapchat’s opinion regarding these charges, but Snapchat has not commented on the specifics of the dispute. He simply replied, ” We are devastated to hear of Selena’s passing and our condolences to her family, and the most important thing to us is the well-being from the community “.

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