41 states have filed lawsuits against Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – alleging that the company went to extreme measures to attract young people and get them hooked on social media, and this addiction then led to all sorts of problems for these children. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: 41 states have filed lawsuits against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, alleging that the company went to extreme measures to attract young people and get ’em hooked on social media. And this addiction then led to all sorts of problems with these children. Now, look, there is no hocus pocus here. We know what they did. We know that they’ve used algorithms. They have hired the best shrinks in the world to say, how do we keep this 14 year old hooked on TikTok? How do we keep this 35 year old woman hooked on Facebook? What do we do? They’ve hired shrinks to say, well, these are the tricks. This is how you go about doing it. They focused it. They’ve tampered algorithms. And the whole intent, the whole intent was to create the same atmosphere that causes any addiction, whether its alcohol addiction, drug addiction, there’s some commonality to people who have a tendency towards addiction. They figured it out. And now they’re using it on everybody. Mostly children right now.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And it’s really interesting about this lawsuit because I’m sure a lot of people, this has been big news. So people have seen the headlines, and I’ve seen some people say, well, this seems stupid, right? You can’t sue just because your kid’s on Facebook and Instagram too much. And when you really start to look at the particulars in here, it is astounding. There’s internal documents from Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, yeah.

Farron Cousins: Where they’re talked about like, how do we get, almost like the tobacco documents, how do we get ’em hooked?

Mike Papantonio: Full disclosure, we’re handling these cases out in California. I wanna put that on the table. We’re seeing some of the documents. There’s no question that they have set out four or five years ago to say, look, we can increase our traffic. We can increase advertising. And so they said, how do we increase traffic? And they micro analyzed, how do you do it with a 14 year old? How do you do it with a 30 year old? And they’ve got a whole approach to doing it where they’re using all of the weaknesses of addiction. A person who has a propensity towards addiction, they’re using those weaknesses to hold ’em there. This is an ugly story, man. 35, fortunately, you got 35 states that are saying, well, we’re gonna do something about it.

Farron Cousins: Well, and it gets even more interesting too, when you look at it as, okay, we got ’em hooked. So people might say, all right, well people are addicted to social media. Where’s the damage? Ah, they know the damage too. Because there have been plenty of studies, you know, we’re still sorting through data here, but the studies have shown that these young people, 13, 14 years old, the more time they spend on social media, they have a poor body image. They go through depression. This social media is destroying them mentally.

Mike Papantonio: Let me point out, I think you just said it, but I wanna make sure it’s clear, they had that information in their file cabinets. It’s not like somebody else said, well, this is gonna cause depression. This is gonna gonna cause anxiety. This is gonna cause potential bullying. This is gonna cause potential suicide. They had this in their file cabinets and had that information in their file cabinets for years. So what do they do? They do what all corporate America does. They go out and they strike a deal with the American Psychological Association, complete utter pimps for this industry. They pay ’em enough money and they come out with the same talking point that we saw with tobacco. We saw the same talking point with opioids. We saw the same talking point with PFAS. We see the same talking point in every major pharmaceutical case. You know what the talking point is? We don’t know. We don’t have enough information. More studies need to take place. And these biostitutes, that’s what they are. They’re paid whores. Work for the university. Work somewhere in science. They have a big name in science. So they go out and hire ’em for a million dollars. Doc, would you please write a paper talking about how there’s no relationship or that you don’t know for sure because there’s not enough study? So they delay it another 10 years in this study mode. Right?

Farron Cousins: Or, hey, poke a couple holes in this one. Look, some of this data right here, we think it was done incorrectly. Look at it compared to our data. And so the scientist, or the doctor, or whoever it is, will say, oh, yeah, when comparing the alternate sets of data, you see that there is no correlation. They don’t do any of their own research in these cases. They rely on everything from the industry. And then they’ll get a big endowment to their department at their university. It is sick. And there is a database that these corporations use and we have seen the database.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, we use it cross examination all the time. I’ll be across one of these, across the table from one of these biostitutes, and I’ll pull out a paper that says, look, you did this for this company. You did this for this company, no disclosure. You did this for this company, no disclosure. You wrote this paper for this company, no disclosure. That’s what’s happening here. They’re trying to round up the best biostitutes they can round up to say, ah, this is ridiculous. Like they did with tobacco, like they did with opioids. Like they do every time that there’s a big crisis like this. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yep.

Mike Papantonio: And as this goes on, you’re gonna see these people are gonna get, they’re gonna get spanked. I promise you they’re going to get spanked because the courts are tired of it. There was a hearing took place in California a week ago. In the hearing, one of the defendants was asked, well, sir, don’t you have a duty to make safe what you’re doing here where it comes to children’s lives? You know what he said? No. Court came unglued. Court said, really? We’ll see what your duty is.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.