Maryland school district sues Meta, Google, and TikTok over ‘mental health crisis’

Illustration of two smartphones sitting on a yellow background with red tape across them that reads “DANGER”
Illustration by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

A Maryland school district is suing Meta, Google, Snap, and TikTok owner ByteDance for allegedly contributing to a “mental health crisis” among students. A lawsuit filed by the Howard County Public School System on Thursday claims the social networks operated by these companies are “addictive and dangerous” products that have “rewired” the way kids “think, feel, and behave.”

The lawsuit cites a laundry list of issues on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok that it accuses of harming kids. That includes the (allegedly) addictive “dopamine-triggering rewards” on each app, such as TikTok’s For You page, which leverages data about user activity to provide an endless stream of suggested content. It also mentions Facebook and…

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