We often joke that social media is one of the scourges of the modern Internet, but that’s only half in jest.
It’s actually a huge problem for a small number of people who deal with addiction to social media platforms, whether it is posting content, consuming it, or a combination of both.
In fact, we’ve seen multiple reports linking social media use to poor mental health in addition to the uninhibited, dangerous behavior clicks and likes seem to incentivize.
California lawmakers are taking aim at just such an incentive with a law that would penalize social media companies above a certain revenue threshold for basically getting kids addicted to their apps. The bill does contain escape clauses for the apps including getting rid of offending features and, second, conducting regular “audits” of the service to identify potential problem spots and correct them before it becomes an issue.
Doing these two things would remove companies from potential damages liabilities. Also, the bill would make it easier for parents to sue social media companies. From bullying to dangerous behavior and beyond, we’ve covered just about everything you can imagine as far as social media is concerned. All of this recalls Meta’s somewhat tone-deaf attempt at launching an Instagram for Kids app a few years back (only to cancel it and shelve the whole idea semi-permanently).
Further protections, such as age checks and other updates to Instagram have made that service somewhat safer from a couple of standpoints but the addictive, must-have-it nature of the app remains pretty inherent to the whole enterprise so who knows how much companies will be willing to mess with a formula that reliably makes them money.
Do you think parents should be able to sue for social media addiction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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