Age-Appropriate Design Code Coalition Issues Statement on New Meta Whistleblower Claims Exposing Meta’s Decision to Bury Internal Research Exposing Scope of Harms to Youth

For Immediate Release

The Wall Street Journal report spotlights that Mark Zuckerberg and Meta’s executive team ignored employee warnings and in response, made it harder to report misconduct.

The Kids Code Coalition is a multi-state effort from young people, parents, educators, health care providers, advocates, and nonprofit partners to pass Age-Appropriate Design Code model bills across the country.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, representatives from the Kids Code Coalition, 5Rights Foundation, ParentsTogether Action, Accountable Tech, Design It For Us, and Center for Humane Technology, issued the following statement on behalf of the Coalition after disturbing findings were made public by a new whistleblower exposing egregious harm to minors on Instagram that went unanswered at the highest levels of Meta despite direct employee warnings:

“These revelations provide further evidence of what far too many kids, parents, educators, and health professionals already know: tech companies have been aware of the harms they knowingly bring to their young users, and they need to be held accountable for their willful negligence. The Wall Street Journal report makes it clear that Mark Zuckerberg and Meta executives were aware of the predatory environment on his platforms and not only failed to heed employee warnings to implement design reforms that would have improved young people’s experiences on their platforms, but also made it more difficult for young users to report harassment and used deceptive metrics to obscure the real scope of harms young people were experiencing. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure the digital world is safe for children and teens by passing safety-by-design and privacy-by-default protections that empower young people rather than harm them. We also need transparency requirements that provide oversight into how platforms like Meta truly impact their young users. That’s why we remain committed to passing Age-Appropriate Design Code modeled bills across the country.”

These revelations come on the heels of a historic and bipartisan 41-state and District of Columbia effort bringing legal action against Meta for deliberately designing addictive products that harm children online in order to boost profits.