Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Key takeaways:

  • The Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit sheds light on the significance of addressing mental health concerns arising from excessive social media use. It emphasizes the need for platforms to prioritize user well-being.
  • The lawsuit represents a significant step towards empowering users and holding social media platforms accountable for their impact on mental health. It encourages users to speak up and advocate for positive change.
  • The Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit prompts discussions about potential regulations and guidelines to ensure a safer digital environment. It calls for collaboration among stakeholders to create responsible and ethical social media practices.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit

Social media platforms have become increasingly damaging to the mental health of teenage users.

Social media harm lawsuit claims allege that social media companies are responsible for onsetting or heightening mental health problems, eating disorders, mood disorders, and other negative experiences of vulnerable users, teens, and children.

This rising concern has led to a number of proposed solutions, including more government regulation, better parental controls, and increased self-regulation by social media sites.

However, it is unclear whether any of these measures will be effective in addressing the root causes of the problem.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits; The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women; Social Media Use Statistics Among Teens and Young People; Do You Qualify for a Social Media Addiction or Mental Health Lawsuit; Seeking Assistance Filing A Lawsuit For Social Media Addiction
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Social media harm lawsuits claim that social media companies are responsible for onsetting or heightening mental health problems, eating disorders, mood disorders, and other negative experiences of teens and children.

If you or a loved one have experienced mental health issues after developing a social media addiction, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

Contact TruLaw for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page for a free case evaluation to see if you qualify for potential legal action instantly.

There is no shame in admitting that you need help and support to deal with the negative effects of social media.

Table of Contents
Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits; The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women; Social Media Use Statistics Among Teens and Young People; Do You Qualify for a Social Media Addiction or Mental Health Lawsuit; Seeking Assistance Filing A Lawsuit For Social Media Addiction

Lawsuit Updates

  • May 2024 Updates:

    In a pivotal phase of the Social Media Addiction Lawsuit, federal and California state courts are advancing the proceedings.

    A Case Management Conference (CMC) has been scheduled to outline the process for selecting plaintiff representatives.

    By June 24th, 24 plaintiffs will be chosen, with the individual fact discovery phase concluding by December 6th.

    Following this, the plaintiff group will be narrowed down to 10-12 individuals for the expert discovery phase, with expert conclusions expected by the end of 2025.

    Simultaneously, a related case in the California Superior Court under Judge Carolyn B. Kuhl is examining the effects of social media on student behavior.

    This litigation involves school districts alleging that major platforms like Meta Platforms Inc., Snap Inc., TikTok Inc., and Google LLC have disrupted educational environments, necessitating increased disciplinary actions and enhanced communication strategies.

    The districts claim that these platforms, designed to be addictive, are contributing to behavioral issues such as depression and anxiety among students.

    Further complicating matters, some social media-driven trends have resulted in considerable property damage within schools.

    The oral arguments have emphasized distinguishing between direct content-related harm and the broader, algorithm-driven behavioral impacts.

    The schools are challenging the application of federal liability protections under Section 230, arguing against the exemption of external factors like social media from school-related claims.

    The broader legal discussion centers on whether the intentional design of these platforms fosters addiction among youth, thereby necessitating a responsibility on the part of social media companies to counteract the negative impacts on young users’ mental health and education.

    Our law firm offers confidential consultations for those affected or considering legal action related to social media addiction and its educational impact.

    Contact us today, or use the chatbot on our page to determine if you qualify for the Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit.

  • May 2024 Updates:

    The Social Media Adolescent Addiction/Personal Injury Products Liability Litigation continues to progress, with 455 lawsuits currently pending as indicated by the latest filings from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).

    Over the past month, 16 new cases have been added to the MDL.

    The litigation alleges that various social media platforms have contributed to mental health issues among users, especially teenagers and young adults, by promoting addictive behavior and failing to shield users from harmful content.

    The lawsuits further claim that these platforms were aware of the detrimental effects of their products but did not take sufficient measures to address these issues.

    If you or someone close to you has experienced mental health disorders, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or other health issues as a result of excessive use of social media, you might be eligible to pursue compensation through a lawsuit.

    Please contact our law firm for a free, confidential consultation.

    Additionally, you can immediately find out if you qualify for the Social Media Lawsuit by using the chatbot on this page.

  • April 2024 Updates:

    The Social Media Lawsuit continues to unfold as more individuals and families affected by the adverse impacts of these platforms seek legal recourse. 

    In a poignant instance, a 16-year-old from Arkansas tragically took his own life following exposure to numerous TikTok videos promoting suicide and self-harm.

    This case is part of a significant number of lawsuits consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), which alleges that TikTok and other social media platforms create algorithms that may increase young users’ susceptibility to harmful content.

    The lawsuit brought by the family of the Arkansas teenager claims that TikTok’s algorithm specifically targeted him with dangerous and inappropriate content, which contributed to his decision to end his life.

    The legal team representing the teen’s family argues that TikTok’s platform design is inherently flawed, rendering it an “unreasonably dangerous product” for young users.

    They assert that the algorithm significantly amplified the teen’s exposure to damaging content, directly impacting his actions.

    There is a growing call among parents and lawyers for a reevaluation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which traditionally protects platforms like TikTok from being held liable for content posted by users.

    A recent study indicates that from 2016 to 2021, hospitalizations and emergency room visits for suicide attempts and ideation among children and teens have increased nationally, signaling a concerning trend in youth mental health and raising questions about the role of social media in these issues.

    The Social Media Addiction Lawsuit aims to highlight the potential risks of unregulated content recommendations and drive changes to prevent future tragedies.

    If you or someone you care about has experienced mental health problems due to social media usage, you might be eligible to file a claim. 

    Contact us for a free consultation or use the chatbot on this page to instantly check your eligibility for the Social Media Addiction Lawsuit.

  • April 2024 Updates:

    Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been successful in having several lawsuits dismissed that sought to hold him personally responsible for the alleged addictive properties of social media platforms he oversees.

    These dismissed claims are part of a larger legal battle that includes hundreds of lawsuits against companies like Meta, Google, TikTok, and Snap.

    Despite Zuckerberg’s dismissal, the broader litigation continues, especially regarding allegations that these companies have designed their platforms to be particularly addictive to children.

    District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, ruled in Zuckerberg’s favor, determining that the plaintiffs could not establish that he had a personal obligation to protect users.

    The court highlighted that corporate law typically shields company executives from personal liability, particularly in large corporations where decision-making is shared among several individuals.

    The lawsuits had charged Zuckerberg with disregarding internal concerns about the safety of Facebook and Instagram for children and making public assertions that the platforms were secure.

    Nonetheless, Zuckerberg’s defense argued that his statements were either general in nature or protected by the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

    This development occurs amidst growing concerns about the influence of social media on the mental health of young people.

    In recent years, various entities from school districts to state governments have initiated legal actions against social media companies, attributing them to a mental health crisis among youth.

    Although Zuckerberg has been removed from this specific lawsuit, the legal challenges focusing on addiction and other mental health issues affecting young users proceed. 

    These cases involve major companies such as Meta, Instagram, Snap, TikTok, and Google, and have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL).

    Our law firm is actively taking on new clients for the Social Media Lawsuit. 

    Contact us for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to instantly determine if you qualify for the Social Media Lawsuit.

  • April 2024 Updates:

    The debate over social media’s effect on mental health is intensifying. 

    Recent filings by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) indicate that 439 lawsuits are now active within the Social Media Adolescent Addiction/Personal Injury Products Liability Litigation.

    These lawsuits argue that prominent social media companies have developed platforms that may worsen mental health conditions, especially among younger users.

    Allegations point to the design, algorithms, and operational policies of these platforms as factors fostering addiction, reducing self-esteem, and triggering anxiety and depression, among other issues.

    The growing concern highlights the accountability of social media firms to protect user mental health and calls for increased industry regulation and monitoring.

    If social media usage has negatively impacted you or someone you know, consulting with a legal professional could provide clarity on your rights and potential actions.

    Use the chatbot on this site for a private, no-cost case review to instantly determine eligibility for the Social Media Lawsuit.

  • March 2024 Updates:

    The Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit continues to unfold.

    The number of lawsuits targeting social media corporations are on the rise, with individuals demanding accountability from major networks for various harms and grievances.

    Our legal team is actively enrolling clients for the Social Media Addiction Lawsuit, as the companies face mounting pressures from numerous directions.

    In New York, a state judge has permitted a wrongful death claim to move forward against social media giants, including Meta, Alphabet, Reddit, and 4chan, for their role in the radicalization of the individual behind the 2022 mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.

    The judge rejected the platforms’ request for dismissal, recognizing the claims that their algorithm-driven engagement tactics played a part in the gunman’s adoption of destructive beliefs.

    The judge pointed out that these media conglomerates profit from the dissemination of violent content, aimed at boosting user interaction.

    Simultaneously, in Tennessee, a collective of over 30 public school districts has initiated a lawsuit against various social media networks.

    Joining a nationwide movement, hundreds of public educational institutions have launched similar legal challenges, with Tennessee’s largest school districts now participating.

    This legal effort seeks to increase the platforms’ accountability and improve the provision of critical resources for child protection, highlighting the gaps in current safeguards, oversight, and regulatory frameworks on these networks.

    These lawsuits underline the escalating concerns about the influence of social media on mental well-being and its potential contribution to violence in society.

    If you or someone close to you has been affected by mental health issues linked to social media usage, you might have grounds to pursue a claim.

    Contact us today for a free consultation, or use the ChatBot on this page for an immediate case evaluation. 

  • March 2024 Updates:

    The Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit is ongoing 

    The Social Media Addiction MDL has recently seen an increase in activity, with eleven new cases added over the past month, elevating the total from 399 cases as of February 1st to 410 by March, according to the latest updates from the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).

    This surge reflects growing concerns regarding the impact of social media on adolescent mental health, with the lawsuits alleging that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have played a significant role in exacerbating mental health issues among young users.

    The core of the allegations points to negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and the creation of a public nuisance by these social media companies through mechanisms that allegedly exploit user engagement to the detriment of mental well-being.

    The lawsuits aim to hold these companies accountable for not adequately warning or protecting users, particularly children and young adults, from the potential mental health hazards associated with their platforms.

    Individuals who have experienced mental health issues potentially linked to social media use are urged to explore their legal options. 

    TruLaw is providing free consultations for those who believe they may be affected and eligible to participate in the Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit. 

    Immediate assistance is available through the ChatBot service on this page.  

  • February 2024 Updates:

    On February 14th, New York State made headlines by initiating legal action against five major social media platforms, alleging their contribution to worsening the youth mental health crisis.

    The lawsuit accuses these companies of culpability through their actions and negligence, asserting they played a part in fostering the mental health challenges faced by young people.

    The state calls upon these tech giants to amend their practices and provide compensation for the perceived threat to mental health they’ve purportedly fostered.

    This legal move comes shortly after the State Health Commissioner issued an advisory last month, likening unrestricted social media access to a public health danger, drawing parallels with past measures taken against tobacco and firearms.

    The advisory recommends limiting social media engagement until children reach 14 years old, and offers guidance to parents, educators, and other influencers on safeguarding children from potential harm.

    Mayor Adams underscored the detrimental impact of social media platforms on children’s mental well-being, highlighting how the constant influx of harmful content has contributed to a national crisis in youth mental health.

    Corporation Counsel Hinds-Radix criticized the prioritization of profit over children’s welfare by these social media giants, alleging they intentionally designed platforms with addictive features to maximize financial gain.

    Dr. Vasan, the commissioner for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), drew a striking comparison between social media and environmental toxins such as lead or air pollution.

    This lawsuit marks just the beginning of legal actions against social media giants as concerns over their impact on society continue to grow.

    The Social Media Addiction and Teen Mental Health Lawsuit is ongoing.

  • February 2024 Updates:

    February 1st, 2024:

    The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing titled “Big Tech and the Crisis of Online Child Sexual Exploitation.”

    During this session, CEOs from prominent tech firms, including Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, underwent rigorous questioning concerning the potential harm their products pose to teenagers.

    During the hearing, Zuckerberg issued an apology, expressing regret for the pain experienced by affected families and pledging to work collaboratively across the industry to prevent such harm.

    The hearing, which featured other executives like Linda Yaccarino from X (formerly Twitter), Shou Zi Chew from TikTok, Evan Spiegel from Snap, and Jason Citron from Discord, concluded after a four-hour examination.

    Senate Chair Dick Durbin called for bipartisan legislation to address the crisis of online child sexual exploitation.

    Emotional testimonies from parents who tragically lost their children to online harms were also included in the proceedings.

    Topics of discussion encompassed platform tools for child protection, Section 230 legal protections, and support for bills such as the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) and the Stop CSAM Act.

    During the hearing, both Zuckerberg and Spiegel personally extended their apologies to families affected by online harm.

    The Senate inquiry emphasized concerns about the adverse impact of social media on children’s mental well-being and the proliferation of child sexual abuse materials.

    Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle advocated for a package of bills aimed at bolstering online safety for children, including the STOP CSAM Act.

    Internal documents revealed that in 2021, Zuckerberg had rejected requests to expand the child safety team, leading to calls for increased regulatory oversight of tech companies.

    TikTok also faced scrutiny regarding its purported ties to the Chinese government, which it vehemently denied.

    Critics stressed the necessity of congressional action to comprehensively combat online child exploitation.

  • January 2024 Updates:

    January 1st, 2024:

    A group of social media and tech firms, led by NetChoice, has filed a federal lawsuit against Utah challenging its social media regulations, scheduled to be enforced in March.

    The lawsuit alleges that the laws violate the First Amendment by imposing broad restrictions on youth access to social media platforms, including age-verification and limitations on targeted advertising. NetChoice argues the regulations constitute “age-gating,” requiring all users, including adults, to submit identification, violating free expression rights.

  • December 2023 Updates:

    December 19th, 2023:

    TikTok has implemented modifications to its terms of service in the United States.

    These alterations involve the elimination of provisions that previously mandated the resolution of user disputes through private arbitration and the establishment of a one-year time limit for initiating legal action in cases of alleged harm stemming from app usage.

    These adjustments could potentially pose obstacles for those seeking legal recourse against the company.

    A coalition comprising more than 40 state attorneys general is currently conducting an inquiry into TikTok’s treatment of young users.

    Their objective is to ascertain whether the company has engaged in unfair and deceptive practices that may have negatively impacted the mental well-being of children and teenagers.

    A federal judge has ruled that a case involving numerous lawsuits against prominent tech companies, including TikTok, can proceed.

    Attorney Kyle Roche, representing a group of over 1,000 guardians and minors with claims related to TikTok usage, has raised objections to the updated terms.

    Roche contends that his clients, who are minors, are not in a position to consent to these new terms.

    The adjustments made to TikTok’s terms are widely perceived as a response to the potential litigation that may arise from the state attorneys general investigation and the lawsuit in California.

    Legal experts have suggested that TikTok may encounter challenges in defending these modifications to its terms of service in court, particularly if consumers were not adequately informed about these changes.

    December 4th, 2023:

    New Buffalo Area, St. Joseph, and Eau Claire Public schools in Berrien County, Michigan, have joined a nationwide lawsuit against social media platforms, including Facebook, alleging failure to protect students’ mental health and interference with learning.

    Over 800 school districts are involved, with the lawsuit calling for safeguards against explicit content and potential harm to students.

    Other schools can join until December 29th, with the trial estimated to conclude within two years. The U.S. Surgeon General supports the initiative, recommending digital and media literacy in education to mitigate social media risks.

  • November 2023 Updates:

    November 15th, 2023:

    A federal court has ruled against Meta, ByteDance, Alphabet, and Snap, mandating that they must face lawsuits alleging their social media platforms negatively impact children’s mental health.

    These tech giants had attempted to dismiss numerous lawsuits that accused their platforms of being addictive to kids.

    The legal actions were initiated by school districts across the United States, asserting harm to children’s physical and emotional well-being.

    The court’s decision indicates that the First Amendment and Section 230, which provides online platforms some legal protections, do not shield these companies from all liability in this matter.

    The judge acknowledged that many of the plaintiffs’ claims were related to alleged flaws within the platforms, such as inadequate parental controls, a lack of robust age verification systems, and a cumbersome process for deleting accounts.

    Addressing these issues, the judge stated, would not necessitate altering the content disseminated on the platforms.

    However, certain other claimed defects, like the use of “addictive” algorithms and the absence of time limits on platform usage, were protected under Section 230.

    The attorneys representing the plaintiffs welcomed the court’s ruling as a significant victory for families affected by the potential dangers of social media.

    The decision challenges the tech companies’ assertions that Section 230 and the First Amendment provide them with complete immunity against claims of harm caused by their platforms.

    Google defended its actions, refuting the allegations in the complaints and highlighting its implementation of age-appropriate features for children on YouTube.

    This ruling has the potential to pave the way for more safety-related claims against social media platforms, even in the absence of new legislation, and could make it more challenging for these platforms to mount legal defenses against such claims.

    November 13th, 2023:

    Allegations have arisen in an ongoing lawsuit that Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has hindered efforts to improve the well-being of teenagers on Facebook and Instagram, based on internal communications that have been made public.

    These documents indicate that Zuckerberg overruled top executives, including Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri and President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg, who had advocated for measures aimed at safeguarding the well-being of Instagram’s more than 30 million teenage users in the United States.

    One specific instance highlighted in the lawsuit involves Zuckerberg’s rejection of a 2019 proposal to disable Instagram’s “beauty filters,” which digitally alter users’ appearances and have been associated with promoting unrealistic body image ideals among teenagers.

    Despite widespread support for the proposal, including from other high-ranking Meta officials, Zuckerberg declined it, arguing that there was a “demand” for the filters and no evidence of harm.

    The recently disclosed communications also reveal tensions within Meta regarding well-being initiatives and Zuckerberg’s preference for a data-centric decision-making approach.

    Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that Meta exploited the psychology of adolescent users to increase engagement on Instagram.

    Technology advocacy groups have criticized Zuckerberg and Meta for their handling of these issues, with some asserting that even senior leadership encountered obstacles in addressing concerns related to well-being tools.

    In response, Meta has defended its actions, stating that it prohibits filters that overtly promote cosmetic surgery or extreme weight loss and offers tools to support teenagers and families, such as screen-time limits and options to hide like counts on posts.

    However, the lawsuit suggests that some of these well-being initiatives may not have been effectively implemented.

    November 6th, 2023:

    YouTube has introduced new limitations on recommending certain videos associated with body image and social aggression to teenage users in the United States in response to concerns about their mental health impact.

    This action comes as a response to an increase in lawsuits against social media platforms.

    The restrictions aim to lessen potential harm caused by repeated viewing of content that glorifies specific body attributes or portrays non-contact altercations and intimidation.

    These changes specifically target teenage users in the U.S., with gradual plans to extend these measures to other countries.

    YouTube is collaborating with experts and its Youth and Families Advisory Committee to evaluate the effects of online content on the mental well-being of teens.

    The platform reiterated its dedication to upholding Community Guidelines by removing content that breaches safety, hate speech, and harassment policies.

    Moreover, YouTube is enhancing existing features such as Take a Break and Bedtime reminders, initially introduced in 2018.

    They are also expanding crisis resource panels for users seeking content related to self-harm or suicide.

    November 2nd, 2023:

    Two Ventura County school districts are taking legal action against social media companies, alleging that popular cell phone apps are causing widespread psychological harm to students. Simi Valley Unified School District and Conejo Valley Unified School District are suing companies behind platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in a “mass action lawsuit.” They claim that these companies have contributed to a “mental health crisis” among children and teenagers, leading to issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm thoughts, and cyberbullying.

    November 2nd, 2023:

    Multiple law firms and attorneys are vying for leadership roles in a California federal MDL involving allegations against tech companies harming young people’s mental health.

    Seeking to represent school districts and local governments, applicants emphasize their experience in similar MDLs, stressing the need for dedicated representation due to unique legal challenges. They argue for an organized framework to efficiently address the distinct concerns of educational and governmental entities, setting the stage for potential lawsuits by major school districts and local governments within this MDL.

  • October 2023 Updates:

    October 27th, 2023:

    42 state attorney generals are taking legal action against Meta, the company responsible for Facebook and Instagram.

    Their contention is that these social media platforms are intentionally engineered to foster addiction and specifically target minors and adolescents.

    This united effort transcends political affiliations and signifies a substantial legal challenge to Meta’s operations.

    The legal complaints assert that Meta purposefully structured its platforms to maintain the constant engagement of young users through mechanisms such as algorithms, alerts, notifications, and infinite scrolling features.

    Additionally, they accuse Meta of causing harm to the mental well-being of teenagers by encouraging social comparison and body image concerns.

    Furthermore, Meta is alleged to have violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by gathering personal information from users under the age of 13 without parental consent.

    The states participating in these legal actions aim to curtail what they view as harmful practices by Meta, and they are seeking both penalties and restitution.

    The attorneys general contend that Meta was well aware of the adverse effects of its platform design on young users, citing leaked internal research documents disclosed by a whistleblower.

    These attorneys general argue that this legal action is part of a wider investigation into the practices of social media companies, potentially leading to settlement discussions or individual lawsuits against other firms employing similar strategies.

    The lawsuits underline the bipartisan interest in safeguarding consumers concerning online safety and align with the national emphasis on protecting the online safety and mental health of children.

    October 16th, 2023:

    Several companies, including Meta Platforms Inc., Snap Inc., TikTok Inc., and Google LLC, have been confronted with multiple lawsuits alleging that their social media platforms contribute to addiction and harm in children.

    Judge Carolyn B. Kuhl in Los Angeles County rejected the companies’ legal defenses, asserting that they cannot employ the First Amendment or Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to shield themselves from allegations that their platforms were intentionally designed to ensnare young users, leading to depression and anxiety.

    These lawsuits have introduced a novel legal concept, treating social media platforms as products with design flaws in order to circumvent Section 230 protections.

    The judge clarified that the plaintiffs are holding the companies accountable for how they crafted and operated their platforms, rather than the content hosted on them.

    A similar case is currently underway in a federal court in California, potentially setting a precedent for these state-level lawsuits.

    The ruling is regarded as highly significant for the families involved in these cases, and a hearing in the federal multidistrict case is scheduled for October 27th.

    October 2nd, 2023:

    Pinellas County Schools in Florida has joined other school districts in suing social media companies such as Meta and TikTok, alleging that these platforms are contributing to a mental health crisis among students, impacting their performance in the classroom.

    he district will be represented by the same attorneys who handled a recent vaping lawsuit and will participate in multi-district litigation against parent companies, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube.

    If successful, the district aims to recover taxpayer resources spent addressing these issues.

  • September 2023 Updates:

    September 1st, 2023:

    The Board of Education of Charles County, Maryland has filed a lawsuit against social media companies, including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok, alleging that their addictive products are harming youth mental health. The lawsuit claims that these platforms are designed to target and addict children, manipulate users to spend excessive time online, and do not provide sufficient safeguards to verify users’ ages.

    The school system argues that these companies prioritize profits over safety and contribute to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among students.

    Charles County joins a hundreds of additional school systems across the U.S. suing the social media giants for detrimental affects on students’ mental health.

  • August 2023 Updates:

    July 26th, 2023

    Approximately 200 school districts across the country have filed a lawsuit against social media giants, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube, claiming harm caused to students, particularly regarding cyberbullying and mental health issues linked to social media usage.

    The case, consolidated in a U.S. District Court in California, questions the implications of Section 230, which protects social media companies from significant liability for user-generated content. The schools argue that Section 230 should not apply in this situation, citing addictive algorithms and product design affecting vulnerable students.

    July 28th, 2023

    The Las Virgenes and Conejo Valley Unified school districts are among the numerous districts joining a lawsuit against social media companies alleging their negative impact on students’ mental health and financial burden on schools.

    The school districts’ trustees have voiced differing opinions on the litigation, with some expressing concern over social media’s influence on students and the need for accountability from the companies involved. The lawsuit addresses issues related to age verification, parental controls, targeted algorithms, constant notifications, and endless scrolling designed to addict students to social media platforms.

  • July 2023 Updates:

    The Penn Hills School District in Pennsylvania recently joined the growing number of educational institutions taking legal action against major social media companies.

    By voting in favor, the board joined a civil lawsuit that claims social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube, have played a role in exacerbating a youth mental health crisis. The board members highlighted their concerns regarding the detrimental impact of social media on school-age children, citing issues such as heightened bullying and conflicts, as well as the diminishing importance of real-life experiences.

  • June 2023 Updates:

    Montgomery County, Maryland, the state’s largest school district, has joined the ongoing federal lawsuit against social media giants such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook.

    Following a series of disturbing incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic that seemed to be connected to viral videos on these platforms, the local school system has become increasingly concerned about the impact of social media on students.

    With approximately 160,550 students across 210 schools, Montgomery County Public Schools believes that social media is fueling body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and even violence.

  • May 2023 Updates:

    Three districts in Oregon have now filed lawsuits against social media platforms under the belief that they are placing profits over the health of students.

    Washougal and Salem-Keizer school districts have both filed lawsuits against Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google, YouTube, and TikTok.

    This comes after the Gervais school district filed a lawsuit back in March.

  • April 2023 Updates:

    An increasing number of public schools have filed lawsuits against various social media platforms after the initial lawsuits were placed earlier this year.

    The school systems are seeking financial compensation along with the hope that courts declare social media companies’ practices as a public nuisance.

    These cases are currently still in the early phases as more and more schools in various states continue to file lawsuits.

  • March 2023 Updates:

    Multiple public schools have filed lawsuits against Meta, TikTok, Snapchat, and other social media platforms.

    The first lawsuits were filed by Seattle Public Schools in January.

    Since then, school districts in New Jersey and Florida have filed lawsuits.

    In March, Bucks County, located in Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit alleging that social media companies are designing and marketing their platforms in way that encourages “youth addiction.”

    While there has not been an update on these cases, social media companies have responded stating that there are parental control and kids’ safety features placed on their platforms for younger users.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview

The social media addiction or social media mental health lawsuit alleges that young adults and teen users have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, eating disorders, body image issues, and other mental health issues due to excessive social media use.

Lawsuits also allege that social media companies, particularly Facebook and Instagram, knew that their products were dangerous for young users and did not do enough to mitigate the harmful content or algorithm that contributes to potential mental health issues.

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The complex algorithms of social media platforms are constantly adapting and exposing young people to new and potentially harmful content.

Parents must be vigilant of their child’s social media habits and step in when they see these outlets doing more harm than good.

What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits?

Lawsuits alleging mental health conditions and other mental problems stemming from excessive social media use are currently being considered for consolidation into multidistrict litigation (MDL).

There are 75 lawsuits in the request for consolidation.

If consolidation does occur, the cases alleging mental health problems from social media use will be centralized in a single district court for consistency of decisions and to speed up the legal process.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits

Facebook and Instagram support consolidation of these lawsuits, but other social media companies are saying that these lawsuits primarily target Facebook and Instagram and they don’t fit the bill.

Research and Statistics on Social Media Companies and Mental Health

Research studies, news articles, and other forms of commentary have come out in the past couple of years exposing the facts that excessive social media use and social media addiction contribute to mental health issues, particularly in teen users.

A University of Pennsylvania study titled “No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression” found that in young users, mental health problems decreased dramatically when they limited time spent on their social media platform of choice.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits; The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women; Social Media Use Statistics Among Teens and Young People; Do You Qualify for a Social Media Addiction or Mental Health Lawsuit; Seeking Assistance Filing A Lawsuit For Social Media Addiction

Other studies have come to the same conclusion, and Facebook’s internal research has also found that a troubling portion of their younger users reported mental health issues associated with what they see on Instagram.

Screen time and time spent on social media platforms have correlated directly with decreased self-esteem, increased depression and anxiety, and other serious mental health problems including suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm.

The mounting evidence in scientific studies and personal testimony from teen users suggest that harm caused by excessive social media usage is more common than we think.

The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women

The Wall Street Journal published a number of leaked internal research documents from Facebook that shows that the company knew that its social media products were harmful to the mental health of young people.

The internal presentations focused on the harmful effects of Instagram and included survey results of teenage girls on how the platform made them feel.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits; The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women

Some of the most important statistics in the leaked presentations include:

  • 66% of teen girls who use Instagram experience negative social comparison
  • 52% of teen girls who experienced negative social comparison on Instagram said it was caused by images related to beauty and body image
  • 32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse
  • The boundary between social media and in-person relationships is often blurred, which can negatively impact self-esteem and mental health in general.
  • Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Teenage users who struggle with mental health say that Instagram makes it worse and the positive aspects do not outweigh its negative impacts on self-esteem and mental health

Social Media Use Statistics Among Teens and Young People

Social media accounts are a commonality nowadays among teens and young people.

In surveys, almost 97% of teens had at least one social media account, and at least 86% of young people have had at least one negative experience on social media.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits; The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women; Social Media Use Statistics Among Teens and Young People

According to Pew Research Center, teen social media users engaged with YouTube most regularly, followed by TikTok and Instagram.

Facebook has taken a drastic fall in use statistics among teens, but since it is the parent company of Instagram, its influence in the industry is still as large as ever.

Do You Qualify for a Social Media Addiction or Mental Health Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one are suffering from mental health issues, an eating disorder, body image issues, suicidal ideation, or other mental problems relating to excessive social media use or social media addiction, you may qualify to file a social media harm lawsuit.

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits; The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women; Social Media Use Statistics Among Teens and Young People; Do You Qualify for a Social Media Addiction or Mental Health Lawsuit; Seeking Assistance Filing A Lawsuit For Social Media Addiction

Seeking Assistance: Filing a Lawsuit for Social Media Addiction

Filing a lawsuit for social media addiction can be a complex and challenging process. If you believe that your excessive use of social media platforms has caused significant harm to your mental health or overall well-being, you may be considering taking legal action. Here are some important steps to consider when seeking assistance for filing a social mental health lawsuit:

Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit; Social Media Mental Health Lawsuit Overview; What is the Status of Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits; The Facebook Papers: Instagram Has Harmful Effects on the Mental Health of Teenage Girls and Young Women; Social Media Use Statistics Among Teens and Young People; Do You Qualify for a Social Media Addiction or Mental Health Lawsuit; Seeking Assistance Filing A Lawsuit For Social Media Addiction

Consult with a legal professional: It is crucial to seek advice from a lawyer who specializes in this area of law. Here at Trulaw, we can provide guidance on whether you have a valid case and help you navigate the legal process.

  1. Gather evidence: To support your lawsuit, you will need to gather evidence that demonstrates the negative impact of social media addiction on your life. This may include screenshots of excessive usage, records of missed opportunities or relationships, and any medical or psychological evaluations that show the extent of the harm caused.

  2. Identify the responsible parties: Determine who you believe is responsible for your addiction. This could include the social media platforms themselves, as well as any individuals or organizations that may have contributed to your addiction.

  3. Determine damages: Assess the damages you have suffered as a result of your social media addiction. This may include financial losses, emotional distress, or the deterioration of personal relationships. Quantifying these damages will be important when seeking compensation.

  4. File a complaint: Once you have gathered all the necessary information and consulted with a legal professional, you can proceed with filing a complaint in the appropriate court. Your lawyer will guide you through the specific requirements and deadlines for this process.

  5. Pursue settlement or litigation: Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have the option to pursue a settlement or proceed with litigation. Your lawyer will advise you on the best course of action based on the strength of your case and the potential outcomes.

  6. Seek support: Throughout the legal process, it is important to seek support from friends, family, or support groups who can provide emotional and practical assistance. Dealing with a lawsuit can be stressful.

TruLaw: Investigating the Social Media Addiction and Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits

Our network of law firms and experienced attorneys are currently investigating the claims against social media companies and strategizing how to move forward with legal action.

We understand that the subject matter in social media harm lawsuits is sensitive, and we’ll work our hardest to ensure that your voice is heard.

Contact us for a free case evaluation or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for a claim instantly.

If you or a loved one is going through mental trauma, consider seeking help from a professional as soon as possible.

There is no shame in reaching out for help if you’re dealing with mental illness, suicidal ideation, or any other mental issue.

There is help available no matter the time of day:

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 if you’re experiencing thoughts about self-harm or suicide.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Social Media Companies Have Been Named in Lawsuits?

    The social media platforms named in social media addiction and social media mental health lawsuits have been Facebook (Meta), Instagram, TikTok (ByteDance), YouTube, and other social media companies.

    The majority of lawsuits filed name one social media company, Facebook (Meta Platforms) as the primary defendant.

  • What injuries or diagnoses are common in social media mental health cases?

    Common diagnoses and injuries in these lawsuits alleging harm from social media companies include:

    • Depression or depressive symptoms
    • Anxiety
    • Eating Disorders
    • Body Dysmorphia
    • ADHD
    • Self-harm or suicidal ideation
    • Any other diagnosed mental illnesses

  • How much are these lawsuits worth?

    The typical settlement amounts for social media mental health lawsuits are unknown as of now.

    When these lawsuits are further along in court, we’ll have a better idea of the average settlement amount for each case, depending on the diagnosis and allegations.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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