The prevalence of social media over the past decade has been positive for some, as it allows you to stay connected to friends and family around the globe, share your passions, and engage with powerful content. However, it has also caused harm to some people through bullying and addiction.
Social media harm can cause significant non-economic damages, as bullying and shaming on social media can lead to depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. If you suffered social media harm, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for pursuing compensation. Although this type of injury claim is rare, the personal injury attorneys at Russo Law Firm have helped social media harm victims before and can apply that experience to your case.
Choosing Russo Law Firm to Help With Your Social Media Harm Claim
Social media harm claims can be complicated, as tracking down liable parties can require extensive research and technological analysis. To receive compensation for your immense emotional trauma, you need a personal injury attorney with the resources, experience, and communication skills to effectively put you at ease and take care of the claims process.
At Russo Law Firm, we are proud of our “quality over quantity” approach, meaning we will not just take on tons of clients to raise our potential profits. We will take on a select few clients to ensure they get the proper legal counsel. Our social media harm lawyers know the emotional toll caused by social media harm and can keep in constant communication with you to address your specific concerns. Contact Russo Law Firm today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you with your social media harm claim.
Russo Law Firm Case Results
At Russo Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys believe in pursuing compensation until you receive a fair settlement or award. They will not accept the first settlement offer made just to put the claim in the past. We want you to receive full compensation for your social media harm damages and will seek those until you receive total financial restitution for your suffering.
Over decades of servicing personal injury victims across the United States, we have applied this mantra of client-first service. We are not in the business of helping out insurance companies or negligent parties that cause harm to victims. Our personal injury lawyers will stand by you and shape the claims process around the specifics of your case to put you in the best position to receive compensation for your social media harm damages.
The following are some of the case results Russo Law Firm has earned for clients:
- $2.4 Million for Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis
- $2 Million for Wrongful Death Trucking Accident
- $1.75 Million Product Liability Jury Award for Crushed Hand
- $650 Thousand Automobile Accident Jury Award for Reconstructed Knee
Most American Adults and Young Adults Use Social Media
Since the advent of the internet, social media has existed in some form or fashion through message boards, forums, and instant messagers. However, over the past fifteen years, the amount of users and pervasiveness has increased exponentially.
According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, 72% of American adults use a social media account. A decade ago, only half used a social media account, and only 5% used one 15 years ago. Over 4.48 billion people use social media, which is more than double the 2.07 billion people in 2015.
With that amount of people using social media, you are bound to have some people that do not use the platforms in a positive way. There have been increased stories of cyberbullying, shaming, and addiction that have happened on these platforms. Although they can be used for social good, they can also harbor negative thoughts and actions that lead to social media harm.
How Can Social Media Harm Its Users?
Most social media platforms do not have proper protocols in place to curb abusive bullying behaviors on their websites. Bullying on social media can encompass embarrassing pictures being posted online, inflammatory comments levied at users, and consistently aggressive behavior being directed toward victims. Social media bullies can also use racist, sexist, homophobic, and bigoted language to torment their victims.
Social media also has an addictive quality; some users feel the need to stay constantly up-to-date with what is going on both worldwide and within their friend group. Americans averaged more than 1,300 hours on social media in 2021. These social media platforms all have algorithms that show users what they want to see, which can keep them on the platforms and have them spend too much time on social media rather than engaging with the outside world.
The following are some of the psychological effects of social media harm:
- Fear of going to work or school
- Suicidal thoughts
- Eating disorders
- Unhealthy sleeping patterns
- Body image concerns
The Most Popular Social Media Platforms and the Harm They Can Cause
There are a vast number of social media sites, each with a different way of connecting to other users. Some websites and apps focus solely on pictures and videos, others focus on text and chats, while there are some that have a combination of both. Each social media platform has its own unique way users can abuse the platform to torment, shame, and bully others.
Picture and video hosting platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube allow users to post incriminating pictures and videos, as well as those designed to make fun of other users. These sites have high sharability, which allows videos and pictures meant to bully others spread like wildfire. There are also social media platforms like Snapchat, where videos and photos disappear after a select amount of time. Some users have posted illicit content to bully others that can escape sensitive content protocols on other sites where the videos and photos live forever.
Text-based messages, blogging, and community conversation sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can harbor some very hateful users. They use the ability to communicate with people across the world, post derogatory messages, shame and bully other users, and leave mean comments on other people’s posts.
The Effect of Social Media Harm on Children and Young Adults
Given that children and young adults have grown up in a world with social media, it makes sense most of their communication and connection happen on these platforms. So much of their social lives revolve around social media, where others can bully, harass, and torment without direct repercussions for their actions. Anonymity aso allows people you go to school with bullying you behind an account without their name attached.
Social media can hurt teens, distract them from important activities, disrupt sleep, leave them exposed to bullying, and give them unrealistic views of how other people live. The emotional toll of social media bullying and addiction can affect a young person’s school work, connection with other people, and development of important social skills.
Social Media Harm Causing Suicidal Thoughts for Young People
A study by the National Center for Biotechology Information (NCBI) found that more time spent on social networks led to poor self-esteem, mental health effects, psychological distress, and increased suicidal ideation. The study also found that social media platforms increase exposure to self-harm behavior, as users can emulate other self-harm behavior they see online.
A Brigham Young University (BYU) study found a correlation between social media use and suicide risk for teenage girls. Girls who used social media for at least two or three hours a day and greatly increased their use over the time of the study were at a higher clinical risk of suicide as adults. Suicide is currently the second-leading cause of death for people between ten and thirty-four.
Social Media Addiction
Although addiction has been more closely linked with alcohol, drugs, and gambling, social media has shown to be more and more addictive as it has grown since the 1990s. A California State University (CSU) report has shown that 10 percent of American meet the general criteria for social media addiction.
The algorithms on social media platforms are designed to cater to your interests and keep you watching videos, looking at pictures, and engaging in conversations. This addiction and reliance on social media can affect your brain, especially children as their developing brains are more susceptible to conditioning. Addiction to social media can make it harder to develop in other areas, lead to negative thoughts, and can leave users susceptible to harm in the form of bullying.
The Responsibility of Social Media Companies for Harm on Their Platforms
Social media platforms are self-regulated, with private content moderation that determines what content is allowed and not allowed on their website. This can be dangerous because these platforms can emphasize content decisions that raise profits instead of curbing negative behaviors by users.
There have been many calls for more regulatory oversight of social media platforms to avoid bullying and abusive behavior. Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code is a part of the United States Communications Decency act designed to regulate pornographic material online. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, many social media platforms, such as Pinterest and Facebook, have worked to eliminate content spreading misinformation about the virus and vaccines.
With little regulatory oversight and only minor attempts to mitigate dangerous content, social media platforms have not done enough to mitigate bullying, abusive, and derogatory behavior. If you suffered social media harm, a personal injury lawyer could suggest holding the social media company liable for damages because they housed the content and did nothing to remove what caused the harm.
Dangerous Social Media Trends
One major issue with social media is that it can increase the desire for attention. There can be a dopamine hit when you post something, as the likes and favorites go through the roof. This can result in people engaging in dangerous trends just to get attention on social media.
The Blackout Challenge is a life-threatening social media trend that has existed since 2008, which involves users holding their breath until they are on the edge of passing out. The trend has had a resurgence of popularity in TikTok but has led to the deaths of two children. The mother of two children who died from the Blackout Challenge has sued TikTok due to the algorithm promoting the content that led to their deaths.
These types of lawsuits are becoming more common as social media harm continues to take the lives of young people. If you suffered from social media harm, contact a personal injury attorney who can help you assess damages, determine the liable party, and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Harm Caused by Social Media
Filing a personal injury claim regarding social media harm can be tricky, as liability is not as cut and dry as in other personal injury claims. You do not have another driver or defective drug manufacturer you can easily point to as the responsible party. Even if you can point to an individual that caused harm, they might be operating a fake account or could be a child whose parents do not have the assets to pay for damages since insurance does not cover social media harm damages.
For this reason, most social media harm claims are filed with the social media company for being the venue of the abuse without the protocols to nip it in the bud. This can be challenging, as social media corporations have vast resources and powerful lawyers to combat any litigation.
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the most important step in filing a social media harm claim. They can assess the situation and put you in the best position to recover compensation through personalized legal advice, determination in settlement negotiations, and the ability to track down expert witnesses to attest to the harm caused by social media.
What Damages Can You Pursue in a Social Media Harm Claim?
Damages are losses that personal injury victims can pursue compensation in personal injury claims. In personal injury accidents like car accidents, these losses can be easier to calculate, as victims will have economic damages like medical bills.
However, social media harm cases will not have as many economic damages that you can pursue. There may be instances where the victims has to enroll in therapy or take time away from work to address their mental health, but that is likely to be the extent of their economic damages.
Most social media harm damages fall under non-economic damages, which are intangible losses that reflect how the incident(s) have negatively affected your daily life. A personal injury lawyer can help to assess those damages to determine what you should claim in your social media harm case.
The following are some of the damages you can pursue in a social media harm claim:
- Therapy costs
- Lost wages
- Mental health care costs
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Social Media Harm Claim?
Social media harm can have a significant toll on a person’s mental health, as bullying and addiction can lead to many psychological issues that a person has to work through. If you suffered social media harm, you should not have to go through the claims process alone. A social media harm lawyer can help alleviate the burden of the personal injury claim and help you receive compensation for the harm you went through.
You need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer with a history of helping victims of social media harm. They can help you assess the situation to determine if you have a valid claim, determine who the liable party is, and skillfully navigate the complicated negotiation and legal process.
Contact Russo Law Firm for Help With Your Social Media Harm Claim
The aftermath of social media harm can be difficult for victims as they navigate their mental recovery from bullying and/or addiction. You need a personal injury lawyer in your corner who can communicate with you effectively, hear your concerns, and represent you thoroughly in your personal injury claim process.
At Russo Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers have experience with victims of social media harm and can use that experience to determine the liable party. We can use our resources and expertise to hold the at-fault party accountable and put you in the best position to receive compensation for damages. We will work with you until you get the fair compensation you deserve, even if it means going to court.
At Russo Law Firm, we offer free consultations to personal injury victims to learn how we can help with your case. If you suffered damages from social media harm, contact us at 844-847-8300 or leave a message on our online contact page.