Lawsuit against major social media companies moves forward

The social media companies YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram lost a key battle this week in a nationwide lawsuit over their role in the youth mental health crisis. The suit, which represents hundreds of parents and children as plaintiffs, alleges that the platforms were designed to be addictive, have subsequently harmed young users, and did not sufficiently warn parents of related risks. Those dangers include anxiety, depression, suicidality, body image issues, and eating disorders, according to Lieff Cabraser, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. The defendants, which include the platforms’ parent companies Alphabet, Google, Meta, Snap, and ByteDance, argued in response that they are immunized by law from the plaintiffs’ claims, and asked the court to dismiss the litigation. They cited Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which has long protected internet companies that publish third-party content online from legal liability in many circumstances. On Tuesday, a federal judge in California partly dismissed the companies’ motion in a lengthy ruling, which means that critical aspects of the suit will move forward. SEE ALSO: 4 tips for a successful digital ‘detox’ That includes claims that certain platform features, like imperfection-blurring filters and photos that have been edited but not labeled as such, are product defects for which the companies should be held accountable. The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that such features expose young users to unrealistic body ideals and prompt them to compare themselves negatively to others.Additionally, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found that the failure to implement…Lawsuit against major social media companies moves forward