Cunningham bill targeting social media addiction dies in Senate

August 12, 2022

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A bill co-authored by Central Coast Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham that would have punished social media companies for creating platforms that addict children has died in the state Senate.

Penned by Cunningham, a Republican, and Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), AB 2408 passed the Assembly and one Senate committee. On Thursday, a quick vote in the Senate killed the bill.

Had it become law, AB 2408 would have imposed a duty on social media companies not to addict children. It would have also prohibited the sale of children’s personal data.

The bill would have allowed the legal guardian of a child who suffers injury due to social media addiction to sue tech companies. Social media companies could have then faced face civil penalties of up to $250,000 per violation.

Social media companies that made less than $100 million in gross revenue over the past year would have been exempt from the requirement. Likewise, the bill would have exempted streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu or Disney+, and companies that only offer messaging services or that primarily offer video games.

AB 2408 would have given social media companies until April 2023 to remove features addictive to users under the age of 18. Companies would have had to undergo regular audits if they chose not to comply.

Following Thursday’s Senate vote, Cunningham said he is extremely disappointed, and had it been up to them, voters likely would have supported the bill.

“The bill’s death means a handful of social media companies will be able to continue their experiment on millions of California kids, causing generational harm,” Cunningham said. “This idea would be overwhelmingly supported if presented directly to the voters, as it would be prohibitively expensive for social media companies to take every California voter on a Tech Caucus junket in Napa.”

Sharon Ireland, a social media consultant, said social media companies had so much to lose from the bill.

“They all agree that addiction is an important issue to tackle, but they also didn’t want to be chopped off at the knees because of it,” Ireland said.


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Last Individual

This is absurdly vague. Some corrupt prosecutor could use something like this to extort $ from anyone xe didn’t like. Laws should prohibit specific acts, not prohibit the uncontrollable results of an otherwise legal act. If there is something in a video game that this RINO wants to prohibit, say specifically what it is, and prohibit it. This proposed law is like saying I’m addicted to chocolate chip cookies, so we need to hold the manufacturers of chocolate chips financially responsible for any real or imagined problems I might have with my addiction.


MrYan

“The bill would have allowed the legal guardian of a child who suffers injury due to social media addiction to sue tech companies. Social media companies could have then faced face civil penalties of up to $250,000 per violation.“


Or the parent or guardian can regulate (limit) their child’s use of electronic devices. Maybe not give them a device at 1.5 years old. Shifting all the blame to tech companies and encouraging a flood lawsuits is not a conservative thing to do.

It would have been a stupid law. The people empowered to sue are just as culpable to the harm caused as the social media company being targeted.

Just write a good bill and regulate them already.


commonsenseguy

Not surprising the Progressives shut it down. They don’t really care about the life of children. They once again proved that back in July, and every day since then.


kettle

Like the conservatives care about children? Lol


It’s about the money, it’s always about the money. They don’t give 2 craps about children or what people believe, but you can blame the progressives for everything if it make you happy.


“Likewise, the bill would have exempted streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu or Disney+, and companies that only offer messaging services or that primarily offer video games.”

It was smoke and bullshit in an election year.


commonsenseguy

Aw, hit a nerve? Again. Too bad some don’t realize the bullshit rolls through both parties always. None of them care. Time to kick them all out on their assess and start again with people of good morals, values, honesty, and integrity. They all lack those things.


mazin

Yeppers, a handful of social media companies allow sites on their platforms to experiment on millions, children and adults.

There are a lot of weak minded people who get algorithm-ed into nasty criminal and socially disruptive media.

Foreign actors have taken advantage of this, think Putin’s Russia.


SloHeadInTheSand

Talk about a nanny state.

Protect kids from social media and force them to give birth after being raped.


unusualsuspect

How about we start blaming the parents for their lack of parenting instead? Another pathetic attempt to shift responsibility away from individuals :/


JCILOALL

I’ll bet the criminal element across the social media platforms are very ecstatic about this bill being shot down. You know, the criminal element that loves to post pictures of themselves holding their AR’s, AK’s, 9’s, 40’s, 380’s 357’s, 22’s, Shotguns, etc., while holding wads of cash in their mouths or spreading wads of cash out on a bed.

Oh yeah baby! That is the ticket.


unusualsuspect

This bill had nothing to do with content whatsoever…