Seattle’s public school district is suing the companies behind social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. It is demanding that they pay for poisoning kids’ brains with addiction and making it more difficult to teach. It also seeks to hold them accountable for the youth mental health crisis.
According to the 91-page complaint, the social media companies have created a public nuisance by marketing to children. It goes on to say that they purposefully designed their products to attract young people to their platforms, causing a mental health crisis.
“Defendants have successfully exploited the vulnerable brains of youth, hooking tens of millions of students across the country into positive feedback loops of excessive use and abuse of Defendants’ social media platforms,” the lawsuit said.
It goes on to chastise them for escalating psychological and behavioral disorders such as anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and cyberbullying; thereby making it harder to educate students; and pushing schools to take measures such as employing more mental health professionals, designing lesson plans about the effects of social media, and providing additional teacher training.
According to the school district, nearly 50% of students in Washington state spend one to three hours a day on social media, with 30% spending three or more hours on the apps. It then seeks monetary damages as well as other penalties.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.