Public school officials from the US city of Seattle have filed a criminal complaint accusing social media giants such as Facebook or TikTok of harming the mental health of young audiences. because they cause depression and anxiety in students.

The complaint is directed at Facebook and Instagram, which are part of the Meta group but also target Snapchat, YouTube, as well as China’s TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, or Google and its parent company Alphabet.

In this complaint, public school officials in the northwest city of Washington called these companies “psychology and neurophysiology of users spending more and more time on their platforms, (…) creating a mental health crisis among America’s youth.”

The whistleblowers say they want to “hold social media companies accountable for the harm they cause to their students’ social, emotional and mental health.”

“The increase in suicide, suicide attempt, and mental health emergency room admissions is no accident. (…) This crisis was already worsening before the pandemic, and research has determined that social media plays an important role. in the emergence of mental health problems in young people,” they add.

They condemn it “for profit” because “the more time users spend on these platforms, the more ads the defendants can sell.”

seattle district, explain that you have engaged resources, including human resources, to assist students he believes these tech giants should put their hands in their pockets: “Taxpayers should not bear the brunt of the mental health crisis created by social media companies.”

President Joe Biden, in his government balance speech to Congress in 2022, called for social media platforms to be “held accountable for the national experiment they are conducting on our children for profit,” according to officials. In this sense, they emphasize that they propose this action to “do exactly that”, which the Democratic president supports.

Google said it “has invested heavily in creating child-safe experiences on our platforms” and ” Powerful protections and special features that put your health firstAccording to José Castañeda, spokesperson for the internet giant.

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Source: Exame

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