A public school in Seattle has sued the tech giants behind TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat for creating a “mental health crisis for America’s youth.”
A 91-page lawsuit filed in U.S. federal district court alleges that a tech company exploited the addiction of social media to fuel anxiety, depression and thoughts of self-harm.
“Defendants’ growth is a product of their decision to design and operate their platforms in a way that taps into the psychology and neurophysiology of their users and encourages users to spend more and more time on their platforms,” it alleges.
am. “They took advantage of the fragile brains of young people and engaged tens of millions of students across the country in a positive feedback loop of overuse and abuse of the defendants’ social media platforms.”
Harmful content provided to users included extreme dieting and incitement to self-harm, according to the lawsuit.
That’s why there’s been a 30% increase in students reporting that they’re “very sad or hopeless…have stopped [routine activities] for more than two weeks at a time” from 2009 to 2019.
Defendant misconduct was a significant contributing factor to the youth mental health crisis, characterized by an increasing proportion of young people suffering from anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
The proportion of children suffering from mental problems has been rising since 2010, and in 2018 suicide became the second leading cause of death among young people.
The result is lower academic performance, “less schooling, more drug use, and more behavior, all of which directly affect Seattle Public Schools’ ability to fulfill its educational mission.” becomes.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act states that online platforms are not responsible for content posted by third parties.
But the lawsuit says the provision does not protect social media companies that endorse, distribute or promote content “in a damaging manner.”
Leave a Reply