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CMS sues owners of Facebook, TikTok, other social media companies for addictive products

Charlotte Observer - 8/25/2023

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is the latest district to join in a national fight against social media platforms, alleging they harm children’s mental health and cause behavioral problems in classrooms.

The district’s board filed a lawsuit Thursday against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram; Google; ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok; and Snap Inc., which owns Snapchat to hold defendants accountable for “the addictive nature of their social media products,” according to a news release.

The social media “addiction” has led to the district to provide more mental health resources to its student body, amid rising rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, according to the lawsuit, and now schools are struggling to meet the surging demand for mental health services. The Charlotte Ledger first reporter on the suit.

“The Board’s decision to take legal action reflects our unwavering commitment to the welfare of our students and to ensure that social media corporations are held responsible for their contribution to the mental health challenges faced by CMS students,” Elyse Dashew, CMS board chair, said in a news release.

The Wall Street Journal reported in July that nearly 200 school districts had joined the litigation against social media platforms, along with hundreds of suits by families alleging harms to their children from social media.

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