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Seattle Public Schools seeks damages from TikTok, Instagram and other youth mental health crisis organizations

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Seattle Public Schools is the largest K-12 school system in Washington with more than 49,000 students and 106 schools. A lawsuit was filed TikTok is against YouTube, Facebook Snapchat, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

They’re the first school district in the country to take the social media giants head-on, for a suggested incitement of mental health crises on its platforms. Filing the lawsuit on Jan. 6, the school district seeks to hold the social media conglomerates responsible for worsening student mental health and inciting cyberbullying, with the hopes that the U.S. District Court in Seattle will uphold the “maximum statutory and civil penalties permitted by law.” 

A survey included in the lawsuit illustrates that there was a 30% increase, from 2009 to 2019, in students who were feeling “so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that [they] stopped doing some usual activities.” The suit also proclaims that “This mental health crisis is no accident. It is the result of the Defendants’ deliberate choices and affirmative actions to design and market their social media platforms to attract youth.” 

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