In the US, lawyers are persuading school boards to file lawsuits against social networks, arguing that their apps cause mental health problems, disciplinary problems in classrooms and distract from learning. This is reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Nearly 200 school districts across the country have joined the lawsuits against the parent companies that own Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube.
Their lawsuits are joined in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, along with hundreds of lawsuits from families who say social media is harming their children.
The lawsuits face a “trial” later this year. First, the judge is expected to consider the technology companies’ motions to dismiss the cases on the grounds that the conduct that allegedly caused the harm is protected by Section 230.
This Section is part of legislation passed by Congress in 1996 that provides that Internet companies generally are not responsible for content posted on their sites by third parties.
The current litigation is an attempt to circumvent said Section. In the lawsuits, school districts and families allege that social media has created a product that is addictive and promotes destructive content to young people, and that a product, unlike content, is not protected by Section 230.
Note that there are over 13,000 school districts in the US. So the number of claimants could potentially continue to grow.
By the way, parents in the Irish town of Greystones united and collectively told their children that they cannot have smartphones until they graduate from high school.