US school district sues Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok over harm to kids
Public schools in a Seattle district filed a lawsuit on Friday against parent companies of the biggest social networks on the internet, alleging social media is to blame for "a youth mental health crisis"
Public schools in a Seattle district filed a lawsuit on Friday against parent companies of the biggest social networks on the internet, alleging social media is to blame for "a youth mental health crisis", and saying these companies have purposefully designed, refined, and operated their platforms in a way that "exploit[s] the neurophysiology" of children's and youths' brains.
The companies they sued are Meta for Facebook and Instagram, Snap for Snapchat, ByteDance for TikTok, and Alphabet for YouTube.
In a brief about this case, Seattle Public Schools said:
"Students in the Seattle Public Schools, like students around the country, are struggling with anxiety, depression, thoughts of self-harm, and suicidal ideation, which led King County to join the US Surgeon General last year in recognizing the youth mental health crisis in this community. According to the Surgeon General, one in five children aged 13 to 17 now suffer from a mental health disorder."
"More than 90% of youth today use social media. Most youth primarily use five platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, on which they spend many hours a day. Research tells us that excessive and problematic use of social media is harmful to the mental, behavioral, and emotional health of youth and is associated with increased rates of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and suicide."