TikTok and Google are sued for “causing a crisis in the mental health of young people”

A California school board has sued TikTok , Google and other tech companies alleging they created an “unprecedented mental health crisis” in young people.


TikTok , Google and other tech firms have been sued by a California school board for creating a “destructive environment for children” and allowing both educators and parents to deal with the growing mental health crisis among young people. The lawsuit on behalf of the San Mateo County Board of Education and Nancy Magee , Superintendent of San Mateo County Schools, involves several of the companies behind the largest social networks.

The legal process alleges that the aforementioned companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer harmful content to children and young people. “Just like we had ‘Big Tobacco,’ now we have ‘Big Tech’ exploiting children. Just follow the tech lobby’s swift and forceful attacks on recent efforts by our California Legislature to put in place common sense rules addressing the tracking and profiling of users under the age of 18,” said Joe Cochett . , an attorney for the firm representing the school board, in a statement.

TikTok, Google and other technology companies are sued

The lawsuit mentions that technology companies have created an “unprecedented mental health crisis” with full knowledge of what they were doing, to profit from their platforms by generating addiction and offering harmful content to younger users.

“Every day schools are dealing with the consequences, including distracted students, increased absences, more children being diagnosed with ADHD, cyberbullying being brought into the classroom, and even physical damage to our San Mateo schools, one example. it’s the vandalism caused by the so-called TikTok “Devious Lick Challenge” at the beginning of the school year , ” Magee said .

A Google spokesperson indicated the following to the FOX Business portal : “We have invested heavily in creating safe experiences for children through our platforms and have introduced strong protections and dedicated features to prioritize their well-being. For example, through Family Link , we provide parents the ability to set reminders, limit screen time, and block specific types of content on supervised devices . “

Tech firms fight back

For its part, a spokesperson for Snap Inc. mentioned the following in a statement: “Nothing is more important to us than the well-being of our community. At Snapchat , we curate content from well-known creators and publishers and use human moderation to review user-generated content before it can reach a large audience, greatly reducing the spread and discovery of harmful content. “

Previously, several companies behind these digital platforms were criticized for censorship and the way in which they market content aimed at children, being the various “challenges” or “challenges” that are disseminated through these media that encourage them to carry out acts that can be detrimental to their health and can even cost them their lives.

“For the youth targeted by social media companies and the adults entrusted with their care, the results have been disastrous. The excessive use of the platforms of the companies YouTube , TikTok and Snap by children has become ubiquitous. And now, there are more kids struggling with mental health issues than ever before. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young people ,” said Karin Swope , the firm’s attorney in charge of the case.