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California AG Seeks To Crackdown On Youth Social Media Addiction

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Sacramento, CA — The state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta is leading an effort to pass a pair of bills in the California legislature aimed at preventing children from becoming addicted to social media apps.

Bonta is pushing for Senate Bill 976, called the “Protecting Youth from Social Media Addiction Act,” and Assembly Bill 1949, the California Children’s Data Privacy Act.

SB 976 gives parents the choice of whether users under the age of 18 would receive a chronological feed from users they already follow, or the company’s default algorithmic feed. Bonta argues that the latter option is more addictive and leads to more mental health problems.

AB 1949 would increase privacy rights for California social media consumers by creating more transparency about the information that companies collect, and being able to prevent the sale of information to third parties.

Bonta argues, “Social media companies have shown us time and time again that for profits, they are willing to harness addictive content to target a vulnerable population: our children.”

This past October, Bonta was also part of a coalition of 33 attorneys general who filed a federal lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, arguing that the company is designing harmful features aimed at addicting youth and teens to their platforms.