NYC suing Social Media Giants!
Tik Tok's logo on a smartphone in front of the British parliament in London, Britain, 16 March 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/ANDY RAIN

NYC suing Social Media Giants!


New York City, US, Feb 14 (EFE).-

New York City on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube for fueling a nationwide “youth mental health crisis.”

The lawsuit – filed in California Superior Court by the City of New York and the departments of education and health – was announced by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

In a statement posted on the city’s website, the mayor said that New York City spends over $100 million on youth mental health programs and services every year.

“Our city is built on innovation and technology, but many social media platforms end up endangering our children’s mental health, promoting addiction, and encouraging unsafe behavior,” Adams said.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a press conference about a review on crime in 2023 at the New York Police Department Headquarters in New York, US, 03 January 2024. EFE-EPA FILE/SARAH YENESEL

“Today, we’re taking bold action on behalf of millions of New Yorkers to hold these companies accountable for their role in this crisis, and we’re building on our work to address this public health hazard. This lawsuit and action plan are part of a larger reckoning that will shape the lives of our young people, our city, and our society for years to come,” he added.

On Jan. 24, New York City officially designated social media a “public health crisis hazard,” equating it to tobacco and guns.

“We cannot stand by and let Big Tech monetize our children’s privacy and jeopardize their mental health,” the mayor said.

In 2021, 77 percent of New York City high school students reported spending an average of three or more hours per school day in front of screens, the statement said.

The lawsuit describes some of the tactics used by social platforms including “algorithms to generate feeds that keep users on the platforms longer and encourage compulsive use,” the use of “mechanics akin to gambling in the design of apps” and taking advantage of reciprocity to encourage teens “to return to the platform again and again and perpetuating online engagement and immediate responses.”

New York is the first major city to file a complaint against five large technology companies.

In October, 41 states sued Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, for fueling a youth mental health crisis. EFE


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