A proposal to allow parents to Sue over addictive social media features failed in The California legislature this week, according to The Verge.
Proposition AB 2408, the Social Media Platforms Responsibility for Children Act, was one of many state-level social media proposals that failed to pass a full committee vote in the state Senate.
If social media is designed so that "child users... Addicted to platforms, "which would authorize civil penalties for social media. The proposal would not apply to social networks that have less than $100 million in annual revenue or are used primarily for video games.
The proposal dovetails with a larger push to limit minors' access to social media or increase the risks on the platforms that allow them. Internal research suggests that sites such as Instagram can have a negative impact on teens' mental health as well as the changes made by the platform itself.
"The failure of this proposal means that a handful of social media companies will be able to continue their experiments on millions of California children, causing generational harm," said Jordan Cunningham, who introduced the proposal.
But critics of AB 2408 - including Internet policy experts such as legal writer Eric Goldman - argue that the proposal would push services toward privacy-threatening age verification, and say it masks the complex factors behind compulsive social media use.
IT House has learned that Goldman Sachs also wrote in an August post about the proposal: "IT hurts children by depriving them of valuable social outlets and educational resources; It harms adults by requiring age (and possibly identity) verification to distinguish children from adults; And age/identity verification hurts everyone by exposing children and adults to greater privacy and security risks."