New Delhi: Instagram, TikTok and other popular social media platforms could soon face lawsuits from parents concerned about their children’s addiction, according to a bill passed by the State Assembly on Monday. California, as reported by the Associated Press. The bill proposes that parents can sue social media platforms for harming children for up to $25,000 per violation. According to business groups, the bill, if passed, could lead to social media companies ceasing business for young users in California, rather than face legal risk.
For which companies will the bill apply?
As mentioned, social media companies can face lawsuits of up to $25,000 per violation. The proposed bill will only apply to companies that made at least $100 million in gross revenue last year. Presumably the bill is aimed at cracking down on social media giants such as Facebook and TikTok.
It should be noted that the proposed bill will not apply to OTT services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, nor to platforms that only offer email and text messaging services.
How does the bill define addiction?
Under the bill, “addiction” is defined as users under the age of 18, who are both harmed – physically, mentally, emotionally, developmentally, or materially – and who are unable to stop or reduce the time they spend on social media platforms because they are addicted. for them.
When will the bill come into force? What can social media companies do?
The bill will now head to the California Senate, where it will face hearings and negotiations between lawmakers and lawyers for weeks. If the bill becomes law, it will come into force on January 1.
Social media companies can choose to remove features considered addictive for younger users by April 1 to avoid liability for damages.
Companies can also perform regular audits to identify and remove features that might be considered “addictive” for children.