Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Seattle Schools Sue Tech Giants Over...

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The public school district in Seattle has filed a novel lawsuit against the tech giants behind TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat, seeking to hold them accountable for the mental health crisis among youth.

Seattle Public Schools filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court. The 91-page complaint says the social media companies have created a public nuisance by targeting their products to children.

I agree, too much time on the screens---especially social media is not good for kids. 

But could it be there are also other contributing factors to the spike in depression and suicide among our kids?

Be informed, not misled.

About the lawsuit.

The lawsuit blames the tech giants for worsening mental health and behavioral disorders including anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and cyberbullying; making it more difficult to educate students; and forcing schools to take steps such as hiring additional mental health professionals, developing lesson plans about the effects of social media, and providing additional training to teachers.

“Defendants have successfully exploited the vulnerable brains of youth, hooking tens of millions of students across the country into positive feedback loops of excessive use and abuse of Defendants’ social media platforms,” the complaint said. “Worse, the content Defendants curate and direct to youth is too often harmful and exploitive.”

The problem that always rises in trying to hold a social media company responsible is that federal law — Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — helps protect online companies from liability arising from what third-party users post on their platforms. This special carve-out of protection was by our government's design at the beginning of the tech era to help these social platforms survive and become sustainable.

They now control many of the very lawmakers who helped create them through their massive social influence and the hundreds of millions of dollars that flow to politicians' political campaigns.

However, this lawsuit argues that that provision does not protect the tech giants’ behavior in this case.

This lawsuit argues that “Plaintiff is not alleging Defendants are liable for what third-parties have said on Defendants’ platforms but, rather, for Defendants’ own conduct.” 

The lawsuit said, “Defendants affirmatively recommend and promote harmful content to youth, such as pro-anorexia and eating disorder content.”

In emailed statements Sunday, Google and Snap said they had worked to protect young people who use their platforms.

Local and state governments in the United States have increasingly gone out on their own to fight big tech companies as nationwide action remains blocked by a politically divided US congress and successful lobbying by big tech firms.

To the frustration of critics, tech giants are facing tougher laws and regulations outside the country on protecting privacy and competition as well as ensuring standards on content moderation.

I think Seattle Schools have a shot at winning this suit---and I am not an advocate of public schools---more on that in a moment---or social media.

I am also aware that social media targets kids.

Internal studies revealed by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen in 2021 showed that the company knew that Instagram negatively affected teenagers by harming their body image and making eating disorders and thoughts of suicide worse. She alleged that the platform prioritized profits over safety and hid its own research from investors and the public.

Seattle schools' intent.

Seattle School Superintendent Brent Jones said, “young people everywhere face unprecedented, learning and life struggles that are amplified by the negative impacts of increased screen time, unfiltered content, and potentially addictive properties of social media.”

In the complaint, the school district accuses the companies of having exploited “the psychology and neurophysiology of their users so that they spend more and more time on their platforms…creating a mental health crisis among young Americans.”

I sincerely hope and pray something good can come from this lawsuit.

But it troubles me that the school district is so hyper-concerned about the negative effects of too much screen time, while they not only allow, but strongly advocate materials that initiate questions and concerns in the minds of kids as young as 5 years old about the child's gender and sexuality.

This occurs every day in Seattle schools, and across the country. Where is the concern?

Is the school silent on human sexuality indoctrination because it isn't woke? And filing lawsuits against social media because it's more acceptable to our current culture?

According to UCLA only about 0.6% actually suffer from gender dysphoria.

The New York Post published this: 

Militant transgender advocates are imposing their agenda with uncompromising zeal on schoolchildren.

That’s fine with President Joe Biden. His administration announced this month that by April, it will enhance the legal entitlements of transgender public school students, with new guarantees regarding access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports competitions.

These issues grab the headlines, but they’re less harmful to most students than the damage being done by the distortion of the school curriculum. From the youngest age, students are being brainwashed with gender ideology.

Children — as young as 5 — are being encouraged to disregard their anatomy and choose their gender based on their feelings.

A book public school libraries offer for kids ages 4 to 8 reads, “This is Ruthie. She is a transgender girl. That means when she was born everyone thought she was a boy. Until she grew a little older — old enough to tell everyone that she’s actually a girl.”

Gender dysphoria — a rare medical condition that makes people feel mismatched with their sexual anatomy — occurs in about 0.6 percent of the adult population, according to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. Anyone afflicted should be treated with kindness and offered medical help. 

It first appears in childhood, but with so few children affected, the curriculum should not be distorted for everyone. Elementary-school teachers are putting words on the blackboard like “nonbinary” and “transgender” even before kids have learned multiplication.

But Maine’s Department of Education reports that between 13 percent and 18 percent of public high school students say they’re “lesbian, gay, bisexual or unsure” of their sexual identity. It’s no wonder when the curriculum programs them to doubt their identity. In school, it’s cool to be anything but heterosexual.

Maine requires public school teachers to explore the achievements of LGBTQ+ individuals, not just in health class but also in history and social studies. That’s indoctrination since teachers are not asked to do the same for the celibate, for example.

This indoctrination offends many Christian and Jewish parents. Most Christians say that whether someone is a man or woman is determined by their sex at birth, according to Pew Foundation research (which did not cover Muslims, who’d likely agree), while agnostics and atheists are more likely to go along with gender ideology. In the document “Male and Female He Created Them,” the Vatican rejects gender ideology.

Public schools shouldn’t be taking sides. But in Maine, Washington State, and many other states, they are.


I hope Seattle Schools win their lawsuit.

 I pray they will wake up to the realities of the harm they, themselves are doing to these same kids with their fully approved transgender indoctrination. 

 I hope sooner than later, a parent will file a suit against the Seattle School district--and other districts-- for the harm their transgender indoctrination is doing to the children.

Truth is, if students are to be educated, rather than indoctrinated, parents will have to stand up to the transgender militants. No one else has the nerve.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be  Bold. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.