CA Bill Would Allow Parents to Sue Over Social Media Addictions

    Photo: Reuters [via Fox Business]

    The Facts

    • The California Assembly passed a measure on Mon. to allow parents to sue social media companies for up to $25K per violation if their child becomes addicted to their platforms.

    • AB 2408 defines 'addiction' as kids under 18 who are both harmed - either physically, mentally, emotionally, developmentally or materially - and want to stop or reduce how much time they spend on social media but can't because they're preoccupied or obsessed with it.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This bipartisan bill will make California a national leader on children's online safety by specifically targeting the features – notably ads and notifications – that feed into the cycle of addiction in younger users.

    Narrative B

    This law would violate free-speech rights at the core of the First Amendment. California is as forbidden from penalizing internet publishers for their creation, placement and promotion of content as it is from punishing newspapers and other media.

    Narrative C

    If this bill, and its vague definition of addiction, pass, social media companies and online web services will have no choice but to cease operations for kids under 18 and implement stringent age-verification in order to comply with these legislative requirements.


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