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Canadian school boards sue social media platforms over effects on students

The joint statement of the school boards alleged that the social media giants' products "negligently designed for compulsive use, have rewired the way children think, behave and learn".

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Ottawa (Canada) Published on: March 29, 2024 16:50 IST
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Four Canadian school boards have demanded over USD 2.96 billion in damages from social media firms like Meta Platforms and Snap in a lawsuit and alleged that their products have harmed students. According to a joint statement by the boards released on Thursday, the products are “negligently designed for compulsive use, have rewired the way children think, behave and learn”.

“That has caused learning and mental health crises in students, resulting in the schools having to invest more in support programs,” they said.

Several studies suggest that the prolonged use of platforms like Facebook and Instagram can lead to anxiety and depression and the platforms can turn out to be addictive.

As many as 33 US states had sued Meta last year, accusing its product of causing mental health issues among young children and teenagers.

The lawsuit has also named TikTok, the short-video social media platform from China.

The school boards which took the action include Toronto District School Board, Peel District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, and Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

Over 1,000 schools are affiliated to the boards which are being represented by Toronto-based law firm Neinstein LLP.

(With Reuters inputs)

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