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School districts in Virginia have joined a national lawsuit against social media companies



Roanoke, Virginia – Local school districts are participating in the national legal action against social media corporations. The complaint alleges that the products of four social media companies are made with children’s attraction and addiction in mind.

Our area’s districts stated that they are uniting because something needs to be done. They claimed that the mental health issue is being exacerbated by the platforms.

Approximately four hundred school divisions nationwide joined the battle, as stated by Roanoke City Public Schools board member Mark Cathey.

The lawsuit was recently joined by the public schools of Roanoke City and Rockbridge County. Phillip Thompson, the superintendent of Rockbridge County Public Schools, stated on Friday, “They are building these algorithms, building their apps in a way that is very dangerous to kids, it’s very addictive to them.”
The fight to hold the social media companies accountable.
Including Google (the proprietor of YouTube), Bytedance (the owner of TikTok), Snap- (the owner of Snapchat), and Meta (the owner of Facebook and Instagram).
“There’s not just a utility that’s out there allowing this to happen but they’ve made money from it,” Cathey said.
These corporations have, according to the Roanoke resolution, “developed products designed to promote compulsive and excessive use by school-aged children,” and they have “significantly contributed to a crisis in the mental and physical health.”

According to Cathey, it is a factor in the growing mental health problems among their students. “They’re dealing with body image issues, they’re videotaping fights, they’re insulting each other.”

According to Virginia Tech assistant professor of communications Mike Horning, “Parents should be aware of all of the platforms that their kids are on.”

According to Horning, kids shouldn’t spend more than two to three hours a day on social media, but since every child is different, kids who struggle with anxiety, sadness, or low self-esteem should spend less time on it. “Social media is probably going to exacerbate those tendencies,” Horning stated.

According to the districts, they are requesting that parents discuss the risks associated with social media use with their kids.

“It’s a pretty big deal right now with our kids who are struggling mightily in so many different ways concerning mental health, and behaviors,” Thompson said.

They stated that they were hoping for change as a result of their action; specifically, they wanted the social media firms to cease exposing their users to harmful content and to start protecting their kids.



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