A group of parents in the United States, through the Social Media Victims Law Center association, filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Supreme Court against Meta, Snapchat and TikTok because they point out that social networks promote eating disorders, suicide and damage the mental health of young people and do nothing to prevent it.
The lawsuit further points out that these companies have prioritized their growth over the security of their users. For this reason there are 20 more lawsuits in California, and it is also alleged that the algorithms of these platforms amplify dangerous content. The text of the lawsuit indicates that this business model used by all the defendants promotes engagement and growth over user safety.
Not taken steps to prevent these problems
Social Media Victims Law Center believes that companies could, and should, have taken steps to prevent these problems. However, none did so to remain competitive against the rest of the platforms.
As background, in Europe, there is already a proposal underway to require technology companies to be responsible for what appears on their platforms. It is expected that the Digital Services Regulation or DSA, for its acronym in English, will require algorithmic transparency and legal responsibility from platforms.
Ineffective and unable to control dangerous content
The growing criticism of the role of social networks in society and their impact on people’s mental health has increased in recent months and it has been established that companies such as TikTok or YouTube are ineffective and unable to control the barrage of dangerous content that is poured daily into their spaces.
In addition, the moderators of the platforms are also in the middle of legal proceedings against their employers for the working conditions they have to comply with when viewing and selecting and reporting content that is harmful to users.