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Meta-rivals don’t want to be part of the defense of the many addiction suits

Meta says social media companies should stick together. This is why.

Meta Platforms Inc. says social media companies must stick together to fight dozens of lawsuits alleging harm to young people.

Snap Inc., TikTok Inc. and Google say they prefer to do it alone.

A St. Louis panel will meet on Thursday to consider appointing a single judge to oversee lawsuits in the US alleging the companies are causing teens to suffer from sleep deprivation, depression and anxiety — even committing suicide. . Multidistrict litigation, or MDL, is used to centralize cases that address common issues and promote efficiency.

While Meta said in a lawsuit it would be impractical to split up the cases naming multiple companies as defendants, Snap, TikTok of ByteDance Inc. and YouTube from Alphabet Inc. that they would rather defend themselves separately.

They argued that Meta has to face most of the lawsuits and that it would be inefficient if they were dragged into the Instagram owner’s fray.

TikTok said in a filing that the MDL process should not combine “competing suspects” even if they offer similar products. YouTube objected to being forced to “participate in numerous cases in which it is not named as a party”.

When the scrolling doesn’t stop: Social media lawsuits pile up

Snap, in a more nuanced argument, said the lawsuits filed against it are different from those against Meta. For example, the apps aren’t “like chemically similar drugs that treat the same disease and have similar side effects, but are manufactured by different companies,” Snap said in a filing.

Meta is named as a defendant in nearly all of the more than 70 lawsuits filed so far. Snap, which faces the second-largest number of lawsuits, has been named in about 20 cases.

The lawsuits against Meta stand out because they cite a whistleblower’s complaint that Instagram knew from internal investigations that many adolescent girls who used the photo-sharing app suffered from depression and anxiety about body image problems.

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