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California bill to ban addictive social media fails

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CaliforniaMeA controversial and highly anticipated law to ban addictive social media sites is in the water…at least for now.

a bill called Child Obligation Law for Social Media Platformscould not pass through Ssubmit committee last week. setbacks occur in parallel attempts by dozens of other states passing laws regulating social media companies.

If the bill passes, prosecutors could sue social media companies for damages of up to $250,000 for each offense if a user under the age of 18 is found to be “addicted.” increase. , was mentally or emotionally hurt and tried to stop, but was unable to because of the nature of the platform. Streaming services or apps that only allow messaging are excluded.

Lawmakers in and out of California say bills like this need to be addressed Growing research Drawing links between social media use and its detrimental effects on the mental health of young people.Haugen reveals internal meta research highlight Teen mental health issues related to Instagram use.Those findings are facebook paper The leak Gizmodo has made since then public.

AB 2408’s sudden defeat comes as a bit of a shock. The bill had previously passed through state legislatures and other legislative committees without a single dissent. according to miami heraldCalifornia Republican Congress Lawmaker and legislator Jordan Cunningham lamented the news, Failure of Democratic Commission Chair Anthony Portantino.

“I am very disappointed,” Cunningham said in an interview. miami herald“Repealing the bill means a handful of social media companies can continue to experiment on millions of California children, harming generations.”

While some researchers and children’s health advocates supported AB 2408, tech industry trade groups such as TechNet denounced the bill as being too broad and banning all users under the age of 18 for fear of lawsuits. claimed that it may cause companies to stop providing services for. and interview TechNet lobbyist Dylan Hoffman argued with Politico that the bill would violate social media companies’ speech protections by banning them from sharing certain content.

“It’s clearly about content and trying to regulate features that you claim are addictive. What’s more addictive than viewing good content?” Hoffman said. . “That’s the problem inherent in this bill, because these he cannot separate the two ideas.”

It wasn’t just industry groups that had problems. An expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, usually a crusade for digital rights, told Politico that “there are very serious problems with the First Amendment,” as the bill is written, and that children under the age of 18 have no legal rights. Proposed new age verification tools needed to identify users.d It actually leads to more corporate surveillance.

EFF Associate Director of Digital Strategy, Jason Kelly, recently said: interview When Wired.

The bill had already faced some setbacks before this billLast month, the bill’s authors introduced an amendment that would remove the ability of parents to sue social media companies directly. It is a key selling point of the law.Legal Basis for Amendments Lawsuits against tech companies would have to be brought by public prosecutors.talk to los angeles timesCunningham said he made the change to squeeze out a few more votes and to assuage some lawmakers’ concerns about creating a new form of litigation.

“They fear opening the floodgates to frivolous allegations,” says Cunningham. told the LA Times“They seem more comfortable letting prosecutors who already have the lead in this kind of consumer protection type stuff handle this.”

The recent setback may indicate what happens in other states like Minnesota, which is looking to pass similar laws to address the nature of social media sites. These invoices are similar but not identical. In many cases conservative It seeks to limit the company’s ability to deplatform or “censor” what certain users say, and even designate it as a “general carrier.” According to First Amendment experts, many of these laws are facing core first, though not for the same reasons. fix problem.

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