Social Media Adolescent Addiction Litigation
Social media is one of the most impactful cultural phenomena that has taken over the world in the past 20 years. There are many benefits that social media has brought into the world both for the business and personal lives of its users. Unfortunately, with anything in life there are good and bad things about the takeover that social media has had on the world. The word “addiction” is something that can bring out the bad side of anything that people consume, and social media is not exempt from that either. Recently, there has been a lawsuit filed against some of the most popular social media platforms for creating a social media addiction that has had a detrimental effect on the lives of children around the country.
Who are the parties involved in this lawsuit?
According to the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are “Children who suffered personal injuries and, in cases of death, the personal representatives of their estates due to their use of Defendants’ products and, where applicable, their parents, guardians, spouses, children, siblings, and close family members, who suffered loss of society or consortium and other injuries as a consequence of the harms to Plaintiffs.”
There are four companies, and their subsidiaries, that are considered the Defendants in the lawsuit. Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Siculus), Snap Inc. (Snapchat), ByteDance Ltd. (TikTok), and Google, LLC (YouTube).
What is being alleged in the lawsuit?
The basis for the lawsuit surrounds the targeting of children to use and become addicted to their products/platforms. As a result, the continuous use of social media platforms has created a mental health crisis among children in America. The youth who have been affected by these products have led them to develop conditions such as Depression, eating disorders, and some have even committed acts of self-harm as a result of their continuous use of social media.
What are the qualifications to be part of the lawsuit?
The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit have more than a mere addiction to social media. The current qualifications for inclusion the lawsuit are as follows:
· The Plaintiff has an addiction to social media that has led them to develop one or more of the conditions below:
- Eating Disorder
- Body Dysmorphia
- Suicidal Ideation/ Attempt/ Completion
- Other forms of self harm
· The Plaintiff received medial treatment for the injury being claimed.
· The Plaintiff first used social media prior to age 21.
· The Plaintiff used 3+ hours of social media across all platforms per day.
What is next?
This litigation is in the very early stages and there will be many developments throughout the lifetime of this lawsuit. In the near future, there will be a lot to learn about the business of social media and how that has affected the lives of the youth throughout the country.