Seattle public schools sue big tech for students’ worsening mental health

The Seattle Public Schools system has filed a lawsuit in a US District Court against big tech companies for their role in students’ worsening mental health and for impeding the schools’ ability to carry out their educational mission.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday, accuses four big tech companies (Meta, Alphabet, ByteDance and Snap Inc.) of taking actions that deliberately took advantage of teens by getting them addicted to social media platforms. 

“Defendants have successfully exploited the vulnerable brains of youth, hooking tens of millions of students across the country into positive feedback loops of excessive use and abuse of Defendants’ social media platforms,” the suit reads.

The filing alleges the social media companies have knowingly engaged in actions that have made their platforms “a substantial factor in causing a youth mental health crisis, which has been marked by higher and higher proportions of youth struggling with anxiety, depression, thoughts of self-harm, and suicidal ideation.”

The suit goes on to say, “This mental health crisis is no accident. It is the result of the Defendants’ deliberate choices and affirmative actions to design and market their social media platforms to attract youth.”

The suit accuses the companies of knowingly utilizing methods that would keep youths addicted to their platforms.

“Defendants’ growth is a product of choices they made to design and operate their platforms in ways that exploit the psychology and neurophysiology of their users into spending more and more time on their platforms,” the suit reads. “These techniques are both particularly effective and harmful to the youth audience Defendants have intentionally cultivated, creating a mental health crisis among America’s youth.”

The suit is seeking damages in an unspecified amount.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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