Three-Minute Legal Talks: Seattle Public Schools' Lawsuit Against Social Media Companies

The prevalence of social media in students’ lives is a boon to big tech’s bottom line. The cost of its ever-growing harm on mental health, however, is becoming more and more apparent. From bullying and hate speech, to misinformation and disinformation, students often wrestle through a battlefield full of bad actors causing emotional distress.

After years of seeing this play out first-hand, Seattle Public Schools wants social media companies held accountable. On January 6, 2023, the school district filed a lawsuit against the companies operating TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. Seattle Public Schools asserts that the companies should be responsible for their contributions to the mental health crisis caused by their social media platforms.

Follow along as Ryan Calo, the Lane Powell & D. Wayne Gittinger Professor of Law at UW Law, covers the pending lawsuit and the implications it could have on students’ lives.