New York City is taking TikTok, YouTube and more social media applications to court. The city, led by Mayor Eric Adams, cites the aforementioned, along with Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and more, as a contribution to a “nationwide youth mental health crisis.”

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The lawsuit is filed in the California Superior Court, stating the social applications are purposefully designed to be addictive to children and teenagers. The suit follows the Health Commissioner’s Advisory that DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Vasan issued last month, citing continued use of social media as a public hazard. The advisory callsf or parents, healthcare providers and more to take action.

“Over the past decade, we have seen just how addictive and overwhelming the online world can be, exposing our children to a non-stop stream of harmful content and fueling our national youth mental health crisis,” said Mayor Adams in a press statement.. “Our city is built on innovation and technology, but many social media platforms end up endangering our children’s mental health, promoting addiction, and encouraging unsafe behavior.


“Today, we’re taking bold action on behalf of millions of New Yorkers to hold these companies accountable for their role in this crisis, and we’re building on our work to address this public health hazard. This lawsuit and action plan are part of a larger reckoning that will shape the lives of our young people, our city, and our society for years to come.”

NYC H+H Chief of Behavioral Health and Co-Deputy Chief Medical Officer Omar Fattal, MD, MPH added, “We must maximize our efforts to support the mental health needs of children and adolescents by providing families with tools and resources that foster healthy development. This includes robustly addressing the negative impact of social media on the mental health of children and adolescents. We join the mayor and DOHMH in encouraging all young people and their families to consider their use of social media and how it may be negatively affecting them.”

Mayor Adams’ administration has been actively addressing the youth mental health crisis. In a significant move last year, the city introduced TeenSpace, a free tele-mental health service catering to New York City teenagers aged 13 to 17. This service enables youths to connect with licensed therapists via phone, video, or text. Since its launch, TeenSpace has provided support to over 2,000 teenagers across the five boroughs within just three months of operation.