LONDON. – Hundreds of families are suing some of the world’s biggest technology companies – who, they say, knowingly expose children to harmful products. One plaintiff explains why they are taking on the might of Silicon Valley.
“I literally was trapped by addiction at age 12. And I did not get my life back for all of my teenage years.”
Taylor Little’s addiction was social media, an addiction that led to suicide attempts and years of depression.
Taylor, who’s now 21 and uses the pronoun “they”, describes the tech companies as “big, bad monsters”.
The companies, Taylor believes, knowingly put into children’s hands highly addictive and damaging products.
Which is why Taylor and hundreds of other American families are suing four of the biggest tech companies in the world.
The lawsuit against Meta – the owner of Facebook and Instagram – plus TikTok, Google and Snap Inc, the owner of Snapchat, is one of the largest ever mounted in Silicon Valley.
The plaintiffs include ordinary families and school districts from across the US.
They claim that the platforms are harmful by design.
Lawyers for the families believe the case of 14-year-old British schoolgirl Molly Russell is an important example of the potential harms faced by teenagers.
Last year they monitored the inquest into her death via video link from Washington, looking for any evidence which they could use in the US lawsuit. Molly’s name is mentioned a dozen times in the master complaint submitted to the court in California.
Last week, the families in the case received a powerful boost when a federal judge ruled that the companies could not use the First Amendment of the US constitution, which protects freedom of speech, to block the action. – BBC.