Michigan School Districts Join a Multi-State Lawsuit Against Social Media Companies

Some Michigan school districts have joined a national multi-state lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco County against Meta, Tik Tok, Snap, YouTube, and other social media companies for knowingly causing harm to children who use their products.

What is the complaint?

As alleged in the complaint, the school districts contend that various social media companies have caused a mental and emotional health crisis among students (children and teenagers) that is marked by higher proportions of anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm, all of which severely affect their ability to succeed in school. Many children and students are subjected to often harmful and exploitative content that encourages disorderly behavior, unhealthy social comparison, and cyberbullying.

The litigation seeks to provide funding and resources to mitigate the damage that school districts are currently experiencing.

Social media’s effect on youth

The United State Surgeon General has declared a national advisory on the youth mental health crisis, blaming social media, in large part, for the growing number of youth experiencing depression, anxiety, self-harm, and other mental health challenges. The Center for Disease Control National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that the rate of teen depression rose by more than 60 percent between 2011 and 2018.

In addition, former Meta employee Frances Haugen testified before Congress that Meta’s internal research indicated how harmful their products are to the mental health of child users, teenage girls in particular.

Similar litigation targeting vaping products

In similar litigation, nearly 1,000 school districts in 38 states successfully sued Juul Labs., Inc., proving the defendants were responsible for causing the youth vaping epidemic.

Help is available

The school law attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to assist school districts interested in joining the litigation against social media companies. For more information, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Municipal