San Francisco, Aug 13 : California lawmakers have rejected a long-anticipated bill that would allow parents to sue social media companies because of their addictive features children was rejected in the state legislature.The Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act (AB 2408) was not able to get out of committee for the full state Senate vote, as reported by the Miami Herald.
The bill would allow local prosecutor sue social media platforms at a maximum amount of $250,000 per offense for using tools that could make youngsters addicted to their product.
“As we’ve stated from the beginning, protecting children on the internet is a top priority but it has to be done with care and efficiently,” Dylan Hoffman, executive director for California and the Southwest of TechNet was quoted as saying.
“We’re content to see that this bill doesn’t advance in the current version.If it had been, companies would have been penalized for being able to provide a platform children have access to,” Hoffman said in the report released on Friday.
The majority of supporters believe that these regulations are needed to safeguard children from companies that ignore the harm done to their mental health through addiction to social media.
The Bill was enacted to social media networks that earn less than $100 million in annual revenue or are designed primarily for gaming.
“I am devastated.The bill’s defeat means that only a small number of social media firms will continue to experiments on millions of California children and causing harm to generations,” said bill author Jordan Cunningham.
The death of the bill comes at a moment in which US President Joe Biden has called for new protections for children online.
The critics of the bill claimed that it could have pushed services towards age verification that could be invasive to privacy.
“It harms children by denying them of important social outlets as well as education resources” as per Internet policy expert Eric Goldman.