The educational administration in the US city of Seattle, which has several public schools under its supervision, has filed a lawsuit against the “Tik Tok”, “Instagram”, “Facebook”, “YouTube” and “Snapchat” companies, in an attempt to hold them legally liable because of psychological crises to which young people and adolescents have been subjected as a result of what is broadcast on these platforms.
According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit filed by the Department of Education, on Friday, accuses companies operating on social networks of causing public inconvenience by targeting children with its services.
The agency indicated that the lawsuit accuses the companies of causing a deterioration in the psychological state and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents, including feelings of anger and exposure to cyberbullying, which makes it difficult for the normal education process, in addition to pushing schools to hire additional staff. Specialists take care of the psychological and mental health of these groups.
The text of the lawsuit states that “companies exploit the minds of easily controllable youth, as well as connecting millions of students across the United States in endless circles to gain attention and get a positive rating… Worse yet, content targeted to young people is usually People are harmful." It makes it easy for them to take advantage of it.”
Although there is a federal Communications Decency Act that protects companies that operate online platforms from liability for content posted by users, the lawsuit argues that the legal provision does not protect companies from liability for their practices in connection with aspects cited in the lawsuit.
The suit asserted that the period between 2009 and 2019 saw high rates of depression and hopelessness among students, 30% more than normal.
Public schools called on the judiciary to compel companies to stop causing a public nuisance, bear damages and pay for teaching students a culture of avoiding the use of social networks and confronting excessive use of them.