In an unprecedented move, several Canadian school boards have taken legal action against major social media companies, including TikTok, Snapchat, and Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram). This legal battle highlights growing concerns over the impact of social media on students' mental health and education. Social media platforms are under scrutiny for their design, which critics argue promotes compulsive use and negatively affects young users' well-being.

Key Update

Four of Ontario's largest school boards are suing social media behemoths TikTok, Meta (Facebook and Instagram), and Snapchat for over $4 billion, alleging their platforms disrupt students' education and contribute to a mental health crisis. These platforms, according to the lawsuits, are purposefully designed to addict young minds, leading to issues like social withdrawal, anxiety, attention problems, and cyberbullying. This legal action, echoing similar lawsuits in the U.S., aims to hold these tech giants accountable for the alleged harm and force them to make their products safer for young users. Social media usage among teens is almost universal, with significant screen time reported, raising concerns about its impact on learning and mental health. The companies involved have defended their platforms, emphasizing features intended to protect and connect users. This lawsuit marks a significant challenge to the tech industry, pushing for greater responsibility in how social media affects youth.

Technical Terms

Compulsive Use

An uncontrollable urge to engage in an activity, such as using social media, often leading to harmful consequences.


Bullying that takes place over digital devices like smartphones, computers, and tablets through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming.


A set of rules or a formula designed to perform a task or solve problems. In social media, algorithms determine what content appears in users' feeds.

Relevance to New Tech Career Seekers

For those eyeing a future in tech, this lawsuit underscores the ethical considerations and societal impacts of technology development. Understanding the balance between innovation and user well-being is crucial. This case could set precedents affecting how digital products are designed, highlighting the importance of ethical tech development.

Relevance to Small Business Owners

Small business owners, particularly those leveraging social media for marketing, should be aware of these developments. Changes in social media platforms' operations or regulations could affect marketing strategies. This lawsuit also serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible advertising and the potential backlash against platforms not prioritizing user welfare.