Seattle Public Schools sues Facebook, TikTok, YouTube for causing youth mental health crisis

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The largest school district in Washington state is suing several major social media companies for creating apps that it says exploit children and contribute to a “youth mental health crisis.” Seattle Public Schools filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Instagram and their parent company Meta as well as Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube and others for their roles in the allegations.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Friday, alleges that the rapid growth platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok have seen is a result of designs and operations that “exploit the psychology and neurophysiology of their users.”

“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 complaint says, adding that their “misconduct has been a substantial factor in causing a youth mental health crisis.”

In statements to CBS News, companies defended their practices and said teen safety and well-being were important.

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