Canadian School Boards Sue Snapchat, TikTok, Meta for Students’ Education Disruptions

Four of the biggest Canadian School Boards have instituted lawsuits against social media giants Snapchat, TikTok, and Meta charging the platforms of upsetting student’s education and also disrupting the ability of the students to focus on studies. 

The boards include Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, and Peel District School Board.

Social Media Platforms Charged For Disrupting Ability Of Students To Study

The lawsuits indicated the social media platforms have a detrimental effect on the ability of students to study and the platforms lead to a plethora of problems for students such as social aloofness, anxiety, depression, attention problems, cyber-bullying, and mental health issues.

Rachel Chernos, a trustee with the Toronto District School Board stated,

“These companies have knowingly created programs that are addictive and aimed at young people, causing significant harm. We cannot stand by any longer and not speak up about it.”

The school boards through its lawsuits are also seeking damages of $4 billion Canadian dollars (approximately US$2.9 billion) for causing irreparable damage to the overall educational system. The lawsuit is another example of increasing concerns about the effects of social media on youth mental health and academic performance.

Reactions from social media platforms

When asked for reactions only Snap Inc responded while Meta Platforms Inc. and ByteDance Ltd remained unresponsive. Snap Inc representative, Tonya Johnson stated that Snapchat opens directly into a camera and does not feed contents nor does it have any process to register public likes or comments.

Duncan Embury, the lawyer representing the school boards contended that the algorithms of the social media platforms are created in a way to increase participation and make the users addicted. He added that the social media platforms must institute measures such as age warnings, dissuade under age kids from participation and also increase resources for school boards to address the challenges posed by social media.

Social media platforms have seen a massive surge in use among Teenagers and as per reports all Teens in the U.S. have seen some form of participation in social media platforms. Of late there are increasing concerns in the U.S. about the negative effects of increased social media platforms especially on teens.

The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy had a few days back urged the social media platforms to devise methods to protect children from the dangers of social media. Several States including the State of Florida have brought legislation which forbade participation on Social Media platforms by kids below 14 years and with parental consent for kids below 16.

Also Read: Apple faces monopoly lawsuit by US authorities

Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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