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A California Bill Would Shield Kids From Addiction to Social Media



A California Bill Would Shield Kids From Addiction to Social Media

State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) of California filed a measure on Monday that she stated will “protect children from the dangers associated with social media addiction.”

According to the bill, social media platforms cannot utilize “addictive algorithms” for users under the age of 18 without permission from their parents. Additionally, it would prevent kids from receiving social media notifications without parental permission during school hours and at night.

During a press conference on Tuesday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta supported the bill and spoke with Sen. Skinner about it.

“SB 976 is landmark legislation that I am proudly sponsoring to better protect our children online,” said Attorney General Bonta.

According to Skinner, social media corporations purposefully create addictive apps that have a negative impact on kids’ mental health.

“Countless studies show that once a young person has a social media addiction, they experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem,” said Sen. Skinner.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will convene a hearing with “five big tech CEOs” regarding their “failure to protect children online,” Skinner said, highlighting the severity of the issue.

Additionally, Skinner said that the bill she is proposing is a response to a lawsuit brought by 32 states, including California, against Meta, on the grounds that the corporation employs “deceptive features” that lead to youngsters rapidly developing an addiction to its social media platforms.

The bill is also supported by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).

“ACSA supports healthy learning environments for California’s children who, more than ever, need positive affirming influences that support their social/emotional and academic well-being,” said ACSA Executive Director Edgar Zazueta.

The only other Republican who co-authored the bill with multiple Democrats was Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).

Sen. Wilk said, “This bill puts parents back in the driver’s seat. It’s time to get out of the wild, wild west and put guardrails in place to prevent social media companies from bombarding kids with highly addictive and dangerous content.”

The bill will grant the Attorney General of California the power to ensure that social media corporations abide by the rules enacted in this measure.


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