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The Algorithm and Its Discontents

Deploying algorithms to maximize user engagement is how Big Tech firms maximize shareholder value, with short-term profits often overriding longer-term business objectives. Now that AI is poised to supercharge the platform economy, new rules and governance structures are urgently needed to safeguard the public.

LONDON – In a new lawsuit in the United States against Meta, 41 states and the District of Columbia argue that two of the company’s social-media products – Instagram and Facebook – are not just addictive but detrimental to children’s well-being. Meta is accused of engaging in a “scheme to exploit young users for profit,” including by showing harmful content that keeps them glued to their screens.