PTC Pens Open Letter to CA State Sen. Portantino Over Killing of Bipartisan Bill to Protect Kids From Social Media Harms

Written by PTC | Published September 16, 2022

PTC Heralds CA Age-Appropriate Design Code Act Signed into Law

LOS ANGELES (September 16, 2022) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) says that it is a win for children that California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the CA Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB-2273) into law, but condemned the fact that the governor didn’t have the opportunity to sign the bipartisan Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act (AB-2408) because the bill was killed singlehandedly by State Senator Anthony Portantino.

“Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among teens in America, and there is a growing body of evidence linking that tragic development to children’s increased screen time. For that reason we are grateful that Gov. Newsom’s stroke of the pen enacted the bipartisan bill AB-2273 into law. That measure will help ensure that tech companies design their products with children’s safety and privacy in mind,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“But much more needs to be done to hold tech companies responsible for the harmful impact their products are having on kids today, especially given the shocking increases in childhood depression, suicide, and self-harm. We were deeply troubled to learn that one California legislator, State Sen. Anthony Portantino, singlehandedly killed an even more important piece of legislation, AB-2408, despite that bipartisan measure having worked its way through the state legislative process without a single ‘no’ vote.

“We are in the middle of an unprecedented child and teen mental health crisis, and AB-2408 would have made it unlawful for social media giants knowingly to make addicts of our children. Our Open Letter to Sen. Portantino demands an explanation for his decision to kill the Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act, particularly right after he attended an invitation-only Big Tech-sponsored event at an elite Napa Valley resort and spa. By killing that measure without even allowing a vote, the unthinkable result is that children’s wellbeing continues to be tragically endangered.”

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