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New York City files lawsuit against social media companies for allegedly fueling youth mental health crisis

NYC files suit against social media companies over youth mental health crisis
NYC files suit against social media companies over youth mental health crisis 00:41

NEW YORK -- New York City is waging a legal battle against five major social media platforms, accusing them of fueling a mental health crisis among young people. 

The city filed a lawsuit against TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube

Mayor Eric Adams says he wants to recover the $100 million the city spends on the mental health crisis every year. 

"The features that keep people clicking in these dark corners of social media have fueled an alarming rise in online bullying, depression, eating disorders and suicidal ideation," Adams said Wednesday. 

YouTube, TikTok and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, say they have the tools to safeguard teens' well being. 

"TikTok has industry-leading safeguards to support teens' well-being, including age-restricted features, parental controls, an automatic 60-minute time limit for users under 18, and more. We regularly partner with experts to understand emerging best practices, and will continue to work to keep our community safe by tackling industry-wide challenges," a TikTok spokesperson told CBS New York in a statement. 

"We want teens to have safe, age-appropriate experiences online, and we have over 30 tools and features to support them and their parents. We've spent a decade working on these issues and hiring people who have dedicated their careers to keeping young people safe and supported online," Meta said in a statement.

Snapchat acknowledged it will always have more work to do. 

"Snapchat was intentionally designed to be different from traditional social media, with a focus on helping Snapchatters communicate with their close friends. Snapchat opens directly to a camera - rather than a feed of content that encourages passive scrolling - and has no traditional public likes or comments. While we will always have more work to do, we feel good about the role Snapchat plays in helping close friends feel connected, happy and prepared as they face the many challenges of adolescence," a spokesperson said. 

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