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Social-Media Lawsuit

LEGAL WOES Social-media companies are being sued. They’re contributing to a mental health crisis, critics say. MATT CARDY­—GETTY IMAGES

The public school district of Seattle, Washington, is suing the companies that own Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube. It claims that social-media platforms are a major cause of a mental health crisis affecting kids.

The lawsuit was filed on January 6. It says the social-media platforms “recommend and promote harmful content to youth.” The suit claims these sites hook users to keep them scrolling.

The companies say they have safeguards in place to protect children. For instance, YouTube lets parents limit screen time. It also lets them block content. Snapchat helps connect users to mental health experts. And it allows parents to see their kids’ contacts on its platform.

The district wants the companies to help pay for education and treatment.