California educators sue TikTok, Snap and YouTube for allegedly delivering harmful content to children

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California educators are suing Snap, TikTok and YouTube over allegations that they intentionally designed their platforms to be addictive and offer content that is harmful to children.

The 107-page lawsuit was filed Monday by Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy LLP on behalf of the San Mateo County Board of Education and the superintendent of schools.

“For the youth targeted by social media companies, and for the adults entrusted with their care, the results have been disastrous,” Karin Swope, a lawyer for the firm, said in a statement. “The excessive use of the platforms of the companies YouTube, TikTok and Snap by children has become ubiquitous. And now, there are more children struggling with mental health problems than ever before. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among the young.

The companies, the lawsuit alleges, use artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver harmful content to children.

Citing a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lawsuit notes that suicidal behavior and depression among youth increased dramatically between 2011 and 2021. This trend, the lawsuit contends, corresponds with the launch and growing popularity of Snap, TikTok and YouTube during the same period.

The lawsuit claims that the three social media companies have also caused “specific and tangible harm” to San Mateo County schools. For example, several schools were recently vandalized in connection with the “Devious Lick” TikTok challenge.

“As described in the complaint, there is solid science behind the claim that social media is fueling a mental health epidemic in school-age children,” San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy McGee said in a statement. release.

“Every day, schools are dealing with the consequences, including distracted students, more absences, more children being diagnosed with ADHD, cyberbullying reaching the classroom, and even physical damage to our San Mateo schools, one example being the vandalism caused by TikTok’s so-called “Devious Lick Challenge” at the beginning of the school year.

The lawsuit seeks to restrain the conduct of TikTok, Snap and YouTube, as well as recover costs from county schools to address the youth mental breakdown they allegedly caused.

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Citation: California Educators Sue TikTok, Snap, and YouTube for Allegedly Delivering Harmful Content to Children (March 16, 2023) Accessed March 19, 2023 at -sue-tiktok-snap-youtube .html

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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