With the mental health of its students as its basis, officials with the public school system of Prince George’s County, Maryland, filed a federal lawsuit against the social media platforms on Tuesday the 16th, alleging that they not only threaten public order but also for gross negligence.
The nearly 200-page lawsuit alleges Meta, Snap Inc., ByteDance and Google, which run Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, intentionally targeted children with platforms designed to create harmful addictions. have been
The end result, the county argued, is that those companies continue to make a profit while schools and parents face and deal with the consequences of their impact.
The lawsuit is not seeking a specific amount of damages, but is seeking compensation for the financial burden incurred by the county as it provides more mental health services. The county is also asking for a jury to award punitive damages.
The lawsuit states that this addiction originating in children is leading to a rise in eating disorders, some forms of depression and even suicidal thoughts in teens.
After the lawsuit was filed, Meta sent a lengthy response to the media, which was supported by Antigone Davis, the platform’s director of security.
“We’ve developed over 30 tools to help teens and their families, including tools that let parents decide when and for how long their teen uses Instagram, as well as age verification technology, automatic setup of accounts for under-16s when they join Instagram and sending notifications encouraging teens to take regular breaks,” it said in the statement.
Noting that these are complex issues, she added that META is committed to continuing to work with parents, experts and regulators, such as state attorneys general, on “new tools that meet the needs of teens and their families, To develop features and policies.