PanamaTimes

Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Meta Sued For Contributing To "Mental Health Crisis" In US

Meta Sued For Contributing To "Mental Health Crisis" In US

The San Mateo County Board of Education added the parent company of Facebook and Instagram to a complaint it filed March 13 against other social media giants, including Google, TikTok and Snap.
Meta Platforms Inc. was sued by the school board in the company's home county for allegedly addicting students to its social media platforms and contributing to a mental health crisis.

The San Mateo County Board of Education added the parent company of Facebook and Instagram to a complaint it filed March 13 against other social media giants, including Google, TikTok and Snap. Meta's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, is about four miles from the county seat in Redwood City.

The complaint is similar to a first-of-its-kind suit filed in January by the Seattle public school district which alleges the companies designed their platforms to be addictive and to deliver harmful content to adolescents and teens. A handful of other school districts in locales from Florida to Arizona have also lodged suits, as have scores of individual youths and their parents.

San Mateo's board of education says it's directing "unprecedented resources" to children damaged by excessive screen time, diverting money from traditional teaching goals to address psychological problems that have "no historic analog," including rising suicide rates, according to the complaint.

Antigone Davis, Meta's Global Head of Safety, said the company wants teens to be safe online and offers more than 30 safety tools for kids and families, including supervision and age verification technology.

"We automatically set teens' accounts to private when they join Instagram, and we send notifications encouraging them to take regular breaks," Davis said in a statement. "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."

Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire chief executive officer of Meta, has in the past championed school reform, including a $120 million contribution to San Francisco Bay Area schools almost a decade ago. But the 116-page complaint calls Facebook and Instagram a public nuisance and accuses Meta and the other companies of racketeering, gross negligence, conspiracy and unfair competition.

"The end goal is to make young people engage with and stay on the platforms as long as possible, because that means they can sell more advertising," according to the suit. The companies "have learned that this is best accomplished by catering an endless flow of the lowest common denominator of content that is most provocative and toxic that they can get away with."

Issues around social media addiction were highlighted at a Congressional hearing Thursday where TikTok Chief Executive Shou Chew attempted to resist an attempt by US lawmakers and the Biden administration to force the company's Chinese parent company, ByteDance Ltd., to sell its shares of the unit or block it in the US.

The parents of a 16-year old boy who died by suicide after using TikTok were present at the hearing. The couple is suing ByteDance, alleging that TikTok sent their son more than 1,000 videos related to suicide, hopelessness and self-harm.

The case is San Mateo County Board of Education v. YouTube LLC, 23-cv-01108, US District Court for the Northern District of California (Oakland).
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×