State Attorneys General Launch Investigation into Instagram’s Effects on Kids

Young person on Instagram

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into Instagram on Thursday to examine whether the company violated state-level consumer protection laws.

The states are investigating whether Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which owns Instagram, promoted the image-sharing platform “to children and young adults” despite being aware of its negative effects, according to statements from the attorneys general. The probe cites internal Facebook communications and research leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen and published by The Wall Street Journal showing Meta was aware that use of Instagram could contribute to body image and mental health issues among teens.

“When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

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Patrick Leahy, Vermont Senator Since 1975, Announces Retirement

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy announced his retirement Monday morning in his home state.

Leahy, 81, was first elected in 1975 and is in his eighth term. He is the president pro tempore of the Senate, making him third in the line of presidential succession after Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and he is the chamber’s longest-serving member.

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Commentary: The Sour Revolution of Bernie Sanders

Truly transformative social movements usually complete cycles. They start with a crisis, build momentum, organize, gain power, and then institutionalize. The French Revolution combined intellectuals, peasants, and convicts into a force that the mighty King Louis XVI and his professional army could not stop. Their effort culminated with the king’s execution on the guillotine in 1793.

After this, the various revolutionaries had to face the question of which vision of that revolution would be imposed. Many of them did not survive that stage of their revolution. Like their former king, many of them were guillotined and, eventually, all of the elements they detested about the monarchy were restored under Napoleon Bonaparte.

This cycle isn’t unique to the history of France and, indeed, it’s the template for most “revolutions.”

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Biden Dominates Super Tuesday States, Upsets Sanders in Minnesota

Former Vice President Joe Biden defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Tuesday night in Minnesota’s Democratic primary, a shocking upset in what was a tough night for the Vermont socialist.

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Commentary: Ninety Three Vermont Towns Have No Public Schools, But Great Education

In just a couple of weeks, 50 boys with learning disabilities will take to a stage in Vermont, one after the other, to recite the Gettysburg Address from memory. It’s a daring experiment undertaken each February at the Greenwood School and its population of boys who’ve struggled in public schools. Diagnosed with ADD, dyslexia, and executive function impairments, Greenwood’s boys stand before an auditorium full of people (and once even a Ken Burns documentary crew) to recite powerful words many adults would struggle to retain.

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