I was excited to learn that my alma mater, the University of San Diego, their School of Law Children’s Advocacy Institute, along with Republican Jordan Cunningham of Paso Robles and Democrat Buffy Wikes Of Oakland, have authored a California bipartisan bill in state Assembly that would allow parents who become addicted to social media app sue.

The overriding question is ….” who should pay the social cost of this/ Should it be borne by the schools and the parents or kids, or should it be borne in part by the companies producing these products?”

We all know that a toy manufacturer can be sued for a defective product or a car seat or crib made with faulty material, which causes harm to a child or infant. So the question is, can social media apps be sued for causing undue harm.

Media materials from Children’s Advocacy explain the bill would first obligate social media not to create apps that can lead to addiction, possibly amending their design and data collection features. 

Damages could be awarded $1.00 or more in class action suits or as much s $25,000 per child. 

The goal would be to dismantle the algorithms that create addiction, especially in teenagers, and another to prevent youth from signing up. With the world wide web, this seems like a challenging task to a non-tech person like me, yet a task that is necessary.

Calls to social media have increased over Covid, as has the recognition that kind using Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., have shown an increase in substance misuse, mental health (anxiety-depression, bullying, body image issues, and in some cases even sadly death by suicide.

For more information check out LA Times https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2022-03-16/california-bill-would-let-parents-sue-social-media-companies-for-addicting-kids

For mote information on these and other bills check outage Cunningham-Wicks Bill in the California State Legislature https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/15/instagram-tiktok-addiction-kids-california-proposal-00017196

What is your take on this important issue ? What is your State doing?