(Bloomberg) — A Seattle school district is poisoning young people with social media addiction, saying schools cannot fulfill their educational mission while students struggle with anxiety, depression and other psychological problems. filed a new lawsuit accusing Big Tech of
According to a complaint filed in Seattle federal court late Friday, Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., Snap Inc., and TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. are alleging to attract young people to their platform and promote mental health issues. responsible for causing the crisis. The district has over 100 schools serving approximately 50,000 children.
When You Can’t Stop Scrolling: Lawsuits on Social Media Continue
The lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind filed by a school district in the United States and follows similar allegations filed last year by a number of families, including more than a dozen families who blame tech companies for their suicides. followed by
The idea of social media companies being held accountable for the potential harm their products do to young people surfaced in late 2021 when former Meta employee Frances Haugen revealed documents about internal operations. bottom. Among Haugen’s allegations were allegations that the company was deliberately preying on vulnerable youth to boost profits. .
The company’s first line of defense is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This is a 1996 federal law that gives Internet platforms broad immunity from allegations of harmful content posted by users. The law has effectively shielded them from legal claims, and voices on both the political left and right call for its reform.
Google has yet to comment. Reps from Meta, Snap and TikTok have not yet responded to requests for comment.
And in a recent example of backlash over how technological developments are encroaching on children’s lives, New York City’s public school system (the largest in the United States) this week allowed students to access its ChatGPT artificial intelligence program to read texts. Prohibited to generate.
New York City Schools Ban ChatGPT Over Safety And Accuracy Concerns
In the lawsuit, the Seattle School District 1st School District asked a judge to confirm that the company caused public nuisance and to award monetary damages and funding to prevent and address the excessive use of social media. seeks to order remedies, including
The district said there had been a dramatic increase in suicides and emergency room mental health visits. He pleaded with all to “take responsibility for the nationwide experiments we are conducting on our children.”
“Seattle School District 1 is taking this step to do just that,” according to the complaint. “Young people in plaintiffs’ communities are experiencing the same mental health crises that are being seen nationwide.”
The companies have previously said they are working to protect their youngest users, including by providing resources on mental health topics and improving safeguards to stop the spread of harmful content. rice field.
The case is Seattle 1st School District v. Meta Platforms Inc., 23-cv-00032, United States District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle).
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