Monday, June 24, 2024
Smart Phones

New York Mayor sues Instagram, YouTube, TikTok parent companies over youth mental health crisis



Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, said that his administration has filed a lawsuit against social media companies for fueling mental health crisis among the youth (via Reuters).

The lawsuit includes Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta, as well as YouTube’s Google (legally known as Alphabet), Snapchat’s Snap Inc. and TikTok’s ByteDance. The lawsuit is filed in the California Superior Court and alleges that the companies intentionally designed their platforms to “purposefully manipulate and addict children and teens to social media applications”.

“Over the past decade, we have seen just how addictive and overwhelming the online world can be, exposing our children to a non-stop stream of harmful content and fueling our national youth mental health crisis”, Adams said in a statement.

This is far from the first time that social media giants are hit with similar lawsuits – they’ve come under intense scrutiny as regulators push them to protect children from harmful content. Meta, TikTok and YouTube already face hundreds of lawsuits filed on behalf of children and school districts over the addictiveness of social media, the report reads.

Just last month Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to families at a US Senate hearing about the impact that social media has on children.

Per their own spokesperson, Meta says they wanted teens to have “safe, age-appropriate experiences online”, while TikTok said it will continue to work to keep the community safe by tackling industry-wide challenges.

Alphabet (read Google, YouTube) denied the allegations: “We’ve built services and policies to give young people age-appropriate experiences, and parents robust controls. The allegations in this complaint are simply not true”, Google’s spokesperson Jose Castaneda said in a statement.



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