Seattle public schools are suing TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, alleging that they have caused a “mental health crisis among America’s youth.” The schools claim that the tech companies exploit the addictive nature of social media and push harmful content, leading to rising anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm among students. As a result, the schools argue that they are struggling to fulfill their educational mission due to a drop in student performance caused by mental health issues.
The tech companies have denied the allegations and argue that they have implemented measures to protect the wellbeing of children on their platforms.
“We’ve developed more than 30 tools to support teens and families, including supervision tools that let parents limit the amount of time their teens spend on Instagram, and age verification technology that helps teens have age-appropriate experiences,” Meta’s global head of safety Antigone Davis said in a statement. “We’ll continue to work closely with experts, policymakers and parents on these important issues.”