California Should Pass Bills Designed to Protect Children from Social Media Harms

Written by PTC | Published August 4, 2022

LOS ANGELES (August 4, 2022) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) said that two bills being considered by the California Assembly would help better protect children from harm on social media and other tech platforms, and called for passage of both the Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act (AB-2408) and California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB-2273).

The Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act (AB-2408) would hold social media companies liable for harm caused to children.

The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB-2273) is focused primarily on data privacy. The measure would require online services used by children to be designed in ways that are age appropriate.

“Children are being harmed by social media and other digital entertainment platforms, and the consequences are proving to be tragic. A dramatic increase in childhood depression, suicide and self-harm appears exactly to mirror the childhood increase in social media screen time. And according to recent research conducted by Thorn, the number of children aged 9-12 who have shared nude pictures of themselves online has nearly tripled in just one year,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“It is vital that our public servants in Sacramento implement legal remedies that will hold social media companies accountable for the harm caused by their products, just as legislation has done for other harmful products that are placed into the stream of commerce.

“Parents are the first and last line of defense when it comes to protecting their children, but it is impossible for them to do so entirely by themselves. Those who create the risk of harm must also work to mitigate the risk of that harm. And if Big Tech won’t do their part willingly, then they must be forced to do so legislatively. Both measures were created with strong bipartisan support, and both should be passed to provide meaningful protections for children,” Winter said.

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