Seattle’s public schools district has filed a lawsuit against TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, accusing them of creating a “mental health crisis among America’s youth.”

The 91-page lawsuit filed in a U.S. district court states that the “defendants’ growth is a product of choices they made to design and operate their platforms in ways that exploit the psychology and neurophysiology of their users into spending more and more time on their platforms. These techniques are particularly effective and harmful to the youth audience.” It goes on to say that the tech giants exploit the addictive nature of social media, leading to rising anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm.

At its best, social media connects us to old friends; keeps us up to date on our communities of interest, practice, and passion; and helps amplify our voices. At its worst, social media divides us and creates an environment where pain and suffering are measurable. That’s what this lawsuit is about.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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