Seattle Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of Washington, filed a lawsuit Friday against multiple social media giants, in an effort to hold the companies “accountable for the harm they have wreaked on the social, emotional, and mental health of its students,” the district claimed.
“It has become increasingly clear that many children are burdened by mental health challenges. Our students — and young people everywhere — face unprecedented, learning and life struggles that are amplified by the negative impacts of increased screen time, unfiltered content, and potentially addictive properties of social media,” Seattle Public Schools superintendent Brent Jones said in a statement. “We are confident and hopeful that this lawsuit is the first step toward reversing this trend for our students, children throughout Washington state, and the entire country.”
In statements to “Good Morning America,” the social media companies pushed back on the lawsuit. We want teens to be safe online. 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,” Antigone Davis, global head of safety at Meta, said in a statement. “We automatically set teens’ accounts to private when they join Instagram, and we send notifications encouraging them to take regular breaks. We don’t allow content that promotes suicide, self-harm or eating disorders, and of the content we remove or take action on, we identify over 99% of it before it’s reported to us. We’ll continue to work closely with experts, policymakers and parents on these important issues.”
Approved ~ FS