New York City Sues Social Media COs Over Youth Mental Health Crisis

'New York City is seeking monetary damages and equitable relief to fund prevention education and mental health treatment.'

New York City Sues Social Media COs Over Youth Mental Health Crisis

New York City is suing a number of social media networks, claiming that the sites' designs abuse teenagers' mental health and cost the city $100 million in associated health programs and services each year. 

The city of New York filed a lawsuit against TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, alleging that the platforms are to blame for an increase in mental health disorders among young people, such as depression and suicide thoughts. According to the complaint, these difficulties create a "large burden on cities, school districts, and public hospital systems that provide mental health services to youth." 

The complaint comes just after executives from social media companies faced difficult questioning from legislators during the most recent congressional hearings about how their platforms may drive younger users, particularly adolescent girls, to dangerous content, therefore harming their mental health and body image.

An increasing number of families have sued social media firms, as well as US governments and municipalities, for allegedly harming their children's mental health. However, during a news conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated: "NYC is the first major American city to take combined steps of this magnitude and call out the dangers of social media clearly and directly, just as the surgeon general did with tobacco and guns." 

New York City is demanding monetary damages and fair remedies to support preventative education and mental health treatment. 

The city also announced a social media action plan outlining how it intends to hold social media corporations responsible, educate and assist young people and families, and investigate the long-term effects of social media on kids.