California parents could sue social media giants if they feel children are being abused under Assembly Bill No. 2408 became addicted

SACRAMENTO – California lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow parents to sue social media companies if they feel their children have become addicted to their apps.

Assembly Bill No. 2408, also known as the Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act, would hold companies accountable if they are found to be harmful to children.

It would also expose the social media giants to lawsuits or civil penalties if the companies “developed, designed, implemented, or maintained features that the platform knew or should have known were addictive to children.” the statement.

“AB 2408 would create a legal requirement for the first time in the United States that if you design a social media platform and allow children, minors, to use it, you would have to design it in a way that doesn’t engage those children and would be held liable in circumstances where corporations create addictive platforms that then cause psychiatric psychological harm to children,” said Jordan Cunningham, an Assemblyman, a Republican from Templeton.

Cunningham is one of the co-sponsors of the bill and believes it is time to implement such legislation.

“My wife and I have four children,” he says. “I’ve got three teenagers in my house right now and I can tell you, just like all parents of teenagers in modern times, we’re fighting a constant battle against screen time. I’ve had personal friends who trusted me and told me that their kids got eating disorders because they used certain platforms that marketed things to them and caused them body image issues.”

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as social media use increased, teens were more likely to commit suicide. The CDC reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24.

“As a result, more than 4,600 youth commit suicide each year,” the report says.

“I think social media can definitely be harmful, especially for people like this who are trying to get their work done and I really think it gets in the way of cyberbullying,” said Antonio Perez, a 14-year-old who works with ABC7 spoke on Thursday. “It causes a lot of teenage suicides and stuff.”

Meanwhile, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, referred Eyewitness News to a company survey that showed eight out of 10 teens who use Instagram in the US reported that the app either made them feel better about themselves self-procured or had no impact on how they feel about themselves.

“I feel like a lot of kids spend hours walking by and probably don’t even realize it,” said Diana Diaz, a local mom.

To read the full legislation, click here.

Earlier this month, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a statewide investigation into whether TikToK is breaking the law to promote its video-sharing platform for children.

“Our kids are growing up in the age of social media — and many feel like they need to contend with the filtered versions of reality they see on their screens,” Bonta said.

It followed President Joe Biden’s call on the State of the Union to ask Congress to improve the safety of children online.

“It’s time to strengthen privacy protections, ban advertising targeted at children, and require tech companies to stop collecting personally identifiable information about our children,” Biden said.

His mother promised him $1,800 when he turned 18 if he stayed off social media for 6 years

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. California parents could sue social media giants if they feel children are being abused under Assembly Bill No. 2408 became addicted

Dais Johnston

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