California Assembly Passes Bill That Could Allow Parents To Sue Social Media Platforms For Child’s ‘Addiction’

Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Font Size:

The California State Assembly passed AB 2408 on Monday, a bill that would allow parents to sue social media platforms for addiction.

The bill is aimed at features which are designed to be addictive to children and teens, according to the press release from Common Sense Media. The bill now heads to California State Senate where it will undergo numerous hearings and negotiations before it becomes law, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The bill, called the Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act, was sponsored by Republican Assembly Member Jordan Cunningham and Democratic Assembly Member Buffy Wicks. The bill prohibits social media platforms from creating addiction in children under 16 years old, including through the use or sale of their personal data. Social media companies who violate the conditions of the bill could receive up to a $25,000 fine per violation. (RELATED: Texas Governor Signs Law Preventing Social Media Companies From Banning People For Their Views)

The bill applies to social media companies that made at least $100 million in gross revenue over the last year, the AP reported. The bill does not apply to streaming platforms or companies that provide email or text messaging services.

In addition, the bill provides social media companies with options to prevent liability. If companies remove the addictive features by April 1, then they will not be expected to pay violation fines, according to the AP. Companies that regularly conduct audits of their platforms, identify, and remove addictive features would also not be subject to lawsuits.

If passed by the State Senate, the bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, the outlet reported.