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CA Bill Would Crack Down On Kids Social Media Use

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Sacramento, CA — A bill that passed in the California Assembly would let parents sue social media companies for harming children who become addicted to their products.

Platforms like Facebook and TikTok could be liable for up to $25,000 per violation. There would be two paths for social media companies to avoid prosecution, if the bill becomes law on January 1. They include removing features that are deemed addictive to children by April 1, and to conduct regular audits to identify any new features that are addictive.

Some business groups have come out in opposition arguing that social media companies would simply cease operations for children in California instead of trying to navigate the legal process.

It would not apply to video streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, or companies that simply offer email and text messaging services.

The bill now moves to the California Senate for consideration. It would impact youth under 18. It defines addiction as being unable to reduce social media time because of being preoccupied or obsessed by it. The bill would also allow the penalties if kids are harmed, either, “physically, emotionally, developmentally or materially.”

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