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4 Ontario school boards sue Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok

Four of Ontario’s largest school boards are suing the parent companies of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok alleging the social media platforms are disrupting student learning.

The lawsuits claim the platforms are negligently designed for compulsive use and have rewired the way children think, behave and learn, leaving teachers and schools to manage the fallout.

They claim students are experiencing an attention, learning, and mental health crisis because of prolific and compulsive use of social media products.

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“The fall out of compulsive use of social media amongst students is causing massive strains on the four school boards’ finite resources, including additional needs for in-school mental health programming and personnel, increased IT costs, and additional administrative resources,” the school boards said in a news release Thursday.

The allegations in the lawsuits filed in Ontario Superior Court have not been proven.

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The school boards suing are the Toronto District School Board, the Peel District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

They are seeking damages in excess of $4 billion for disruption to student learning and the education system.

Meta Platforms Inc. owns Facebook and Instagram, while Snap Inc. owns Snapchat and ByteDance Ltd. owns TikTok.

The companies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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