NYC’s legal fight against the effects of social media on mental health gets thousands of likes from parents and school communities

New York officials have identified two “challenges” spread on social networks as the main drivers. A profile of many misfortunes and thefts.

First, the deadly game of “surfing” on subway cars is linked to the TikTok platform: it turns out that dangerous stunts are promoted in the transportation system and anyone who pulls it off gets thousands of likes and followers.

And, second, behind the increasing theft of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. New York City Police Department (NYPD) has specified that its trigger is the “instruction manual” on the TikTok video network, where teenagers are encouraged and explained how to steal these vehicles with simple steps.

He is not everything. For several months, Mayor Eric Adams and his team have pointed their finger at the devastating effects of social media addiction on children and teens and its connection Mental health problems and suicides.

But this week he went even further and announced a lawsuit to hold five social media platforms accountable. (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube) to address the national rise of mental health problems among young people.

As such, the city has joined hundreds of school districts across the country in filing a lawsuit that attempts to force the technology giant to make certain modifications, while Hold them accountable for the costs of dealing with this public health threat.

It is estimated that the municipality invests annually $100 million in mental health programs, To reverse the effects of these technologies.

“Stupid Talking Contest”

more than 150 New York City school community advocates, researchers, technologists, mental health providers, community organizations and youth organizations, They support municipal action to impose more stringent limits on technology corporations.

On the streets and in various surveys, teachers, parents and representatives support “All of its letters” relate to concerns from Big Apple health officials.

Such is the case of Dominican teacher Yaina GuinoaWhich assures that there are changes in the patterns of children’s engagement with other people They are exposed to a very negative “virtual” environment.

“This is a generation that is growing up under Stress, extra information and competition for stupid things like never before, This pattern of comparing oneself to the lifestyle of others at every moment affects self-esteem and creates alienation in children and youth. They’re at a family function and they’re just looking at the phone screen, They are not more interested in anything than what happens on the network,” analyzed the islander, who has lived in the Big Apple for only two years.

Yaina argues that “it is a global phenomenon,” but its impact is greater in cities where very young children, They have easy access to all types of technology and better phones, But at the same time, there is also an abundance of very harmful information, which basically creates a lot of frustration.

Similarly, Puerto Rican Candy Melo, 48, resident of Washington Heightssays she “confiscated” her two teenage children’s phones at night because they were up until the wee hours of the morning watching “smut.”

“Networks are worse than drugs, because they lead these kids to very bad things. Because of stupid things they feel more or less. But the bigger question is what do we as parents prefer: That they’re fools on the screen, or that they’re looking for danger on the street?

an addictive virtual world

The test of the lawsuit filed this week is that this technology is fueling a national youth mental health crisis by knowingly designing an addictive virtual world. Use algorithms that are harmful to young people.

For his part, the Commissioner New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Dr Ashwin Vasan These platforms were compared to “toxins” such as lead and nicotine.

New York City is currently using a wide range of tools to fight back, including Education, awareness, research and regulation, This demand is another step towards finding more comprehensive solutions.

“The days of complete freedom for technology giants must end. wait for it “Self-regulation is naive”Vasan insisted.

In what sense, Eva Wong, Executive Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health points out that many times, social networks expose our children to Cyberbullying, body image issues, online predators, privacy concerns, and increased risk of depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, and even suicide.

“As a mother, I am deeply concerned about the lasting negative impact of social media on shaping youth culture. And today, as a city, We say it is not enough to simply warn young people about these dangers, “We must hold companies accountable for producing and profiting from real environmental toxins.”

tremendous data

in New York City, More than 38% of high school students They reported feeling so sad or depressed in the past year that they stopped doing their normal activities.

The depression rate among high school students in 2021 was approximately 50% higher for Latino and black students than white students.

Nowadays, More than a third of children aged 13 to 17 across the countryReport that they use social networks “almost constantly” and admit that it is “a lot”.

However, more than half of these children report That they will find it difficult to reduce their use of social networks.

Similarly, in 2021, 77% of high school students in the Big Apple said they passed on average Three or more hours of screen time per school day, not including time spent on homework.

Last year, Mayor Adams announced the launch of TeenSpace, a free telemental health service available to all teens in New York City. Between the ages of 13 and 17, they are allowed to connect with a licensed therapist via phone, video, and text. In three months of operation, this virtual office Has served over 2,000 youth across all five boroughs.

Meta apologizes

The lawsuit filed by New York City follows other states for exactly the same reason: Addiction of children on these platforms, However the company said that its social media sites are safe for youth.

Colorado and California led a joint lawsuit filed by 33 states in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accusing Meta, Owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger Violating consumer protection laws by falsely targeting children and misleading users about the safety of their platforms.

In a statement reiterated by the new York TimesThe giant Meta assured that it is working to provide a safe environment for teenagers in its applications and has introduced more than 30 tools to support teenagers and their families.

“We are disappointed that instead of working productively with companies across the industry Create clear, age-appropriate standards for the many apps teens useThe Attorney General has chosen this path,” the technology corporation said.

At the beginning of the year, in an appearance in front of Capital, to analyze the harm that social networks cause to children, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, Apologized to families who reported harm to their children from these technologies.

Platforms defend themselves

youtube representative He told local media it was in response to a “declaration of war” taken by several states, in which a variety of security measures were implemented for young users. “Digital Wellness Features” and removing content that “endangers the emotional well-being of minors or promotes suicide and self-harm.”

Similarly, a TikTok spokesperson assured last January that their companies had added user support to improve the mental health of youth. Such as bedtime reminders and age restrictions.

The company also said it has created an application programming interface that includes public data About the platform’s content and accounts, which is available to US researchers.

Demand Details:

  • The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court by the City of New York, the NYC Department of Education, and the NYC Public Hospital Corporation (H+H), seeks certain regulations on companies operating TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTubeare responsible for their role in the creation of The youth mental health crisis in New York City.
  • The lawsuit accuses the companies They knowingly designed their platforms to manipulate and addict children and teens. For social media applications.
  • He also accused them of using algorithms to generate ‘feeds’ that keep users on the platform. Encourage prolonged and compulsive use.
  • It has been made clear that they use mechanisms similar to games of chance in the design of applications, which allow anticipation and The desire to obsessively accumulate “likes” and “hearts.”
  • The lawsuit specifically alleges that the companies’ intentional conduct and negligence have been a significant factor in fueling the youth mental health crisis, which is a serious problem. The crisis affects schools, public hospitals and communities across the city.

the figure:

  • 77% of high school students in the Big Apple said they passed on average Three or more hours of screen time per school day, not including time spent on homework

(TagstoTranslate)Students NYC(T)Social Media(T)Mental Health NYC

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