San Mateo County schools sue 3 major social media companies

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — San Mateo County school officials are suing three major social media companies alleging they are contributing to the rapid mental health decline of children.

The San Mateo County Board of Education is suing Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube for harming students’ mental health and for “monetizing misery.”

San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee said how TikTok challenges going around school resulted in vandalism to school properties, which takes away from teaching and learning.

The suit alleges the companies designed their platforms to be addictive and deliver harmful content to kids, hurting their mental health. One of the lawyers who filed the suit on behalf of the school board compared “big tech” to the behavior of “big tobacco”, regarding allegations that both deliberately target and exploit children.

In response to the lawsuit, all three companies issued the following statements:


“We have invested heavily in creating safe experiences for children across our platforms and have introduced strong protections and dedicated features to prioritize their well being.” 


“TikTok’s robust Community Guidelines and enforcement measures to protect our community, and teens in particular.”


“We are constantly evaluating how we continue to make our platform safer, including through new education, features and protections.”

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The school board is asking the social media companies to pay for increased mental health services at their schools and pay for the damages made on school property from the viral challenges.

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