Seattle Public Schools Sued on Social Media Over Mental Health Concerns


A faded American flag in the background with a blind lady of justice in front.

The companies behind social media platforms like Meta, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat are being sued by Seattle public schools for harming the mental health of teenagers. The 91-page lawsuit was filed in US District Court on Friday.

The schools allegedly blame the tech giants for endangering the mental health of “America’s youth,” claiming they design harmful products that “exploit the psychology and neurophysiology of their consumers.” are” and make them spend more time using these platforms. The lawsuit further states that the harmful content viewed by young minds on social media impairs students’ performance in schools, noting that they are “less likely to attend school, engage in substance abuse.” are more likely to engage, and all of this directly affects Seattle’s public schools’ ability to fulfill their educational mission. It highlights that over the ten years from 2009 to 2019, Seattle’s Schools have seen a 30 percent increase in reports of students feeling “sad or depressed almost every day for two weeks or more consistently.” [they] Stop doing some normal activities.”

The lawsuit states:

“The defendants have successfully exploited the vulnerable minds of young people, drawing millions of students across the country into positive feedback loops of excessive use and misuse of the defendants’ social media platforms. This Worse, the content defendants present directly and indirectly to young people is often harmful and exploitative (eg, promoting the “corpse bride” diet, eating 300 calories a day, or telling themselves encouraging harm).

According to the lawsuit, these companies have also trespassed. Washington Public Nuisance Law. Furthermore, it argues that while Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act While states that responsibility for posted content rests with the original poster, these companies are still responsible for what they recommend, promote and distribute on their platforms.

Defendants in the case include Google, spokesman Jose Castina said Axis In a statement the company is doing its part to protect its users on its platforms. He mentioned:

“We have invested heavily in creating safe experiences for children across all our platforms and have introduced strong safeguards and dedicated features to prioritize their well-being, for example, Family Link. Through, we give parents the ability to set reminders, limit screen time and block certain types of content on monitored devices.”

Antigone Davis, Meta’s global head of safety, also told Axios that the company has developed “more than 30 tools” to increase parental control and monitoring of how their teens use social media. Age verification technology also helps in providing age-appropriate content to its users, he added. TikTok, on the other hand, has yet to comment on the situation.

Also, a Snap spokesperson said Reuters:

“While we cannot comment on the specifics of active litigation, nothing is more important to us than the well-being of our community. We will continue to work to ensure that our platform is safe. And Snapchatters dealing with mental health issues will be given resources to help them deal with the challenges facing today’s youth.

The lawsuit seeks money for education to prevent unhealthy use of social media platforms and other harm caused by “public nuisance.”

Source: Guardian


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