New California Law Spells Trouble For Apps As Parents Can Sue Social Platforms That Make Kids Addicted To Them

A new California law is coming into the limelight that provides parents with the right to sue social media apps for designing algorithms that make children addicted to them.

The law is being developed as a precautionary measure against the harms of the digital world for young viewers. And while the law is currently being debated, passing it into the legislature could spell trouble for different platforms.

A recent report by the Wall Street Journal highlights how different social media firms like Meta could face lawsuits at the hands of government lawyers in the state of California. And the basis was related to how systems belonging to these apps harm kids by means of addiction.

When passed, the new law could see a new age limit being added to different social media apps that operate in the state. This would further restrict the manner through which algorithms are amplified for underage users.

Just last month, we saw the Social Media Platform Duty Act come forward for children but that has undergone several major changes. This way, it would have a better chance of being passed by the Senate into the Bill.

So many safe harbors are getting included for the betterment of the younger lot and that includes incentives to apps for removing features that make kids addicted to a platform for a certain time period.

In case you happen to be wondering what the term addictive features actually means in this context, well, it’s related to making users stay active on the app for a while. Common examples would include hooking them and luring them to stay tuned for as long as possible.

This would result in a series of negative impacts in terms of engagements for such apps as without the right algorithm, the binary process gets messed up. Remember, it’s all about clicking and commenting on content that brings in the views and builds up your engagement. Hence, the more it’s changed, the worse the response tends to become.

The whole idea behind these online systems is to build the greatest engagement so, in return, you get higher shares and better reach.

Another major problem with social media apps is how well they understand what viewers want. It just draws users in and keeps them hooked for hours in a day.

TikTok is leading in that department where some people go as far as spending 90 minutes on the app, without breaks. This is related to the huge variety of short clips.

But one major dilemma being faced by authorities is understanding how useful this bill can really turn out to be for youngsters because as it is, we’ve got apps curbing gaming restrictions and live streams in places like China. Some can’t even watch live streams after 10 pm.

In Italy, the government has taken major steps to protect against cyberbullying as young children are vulnerable targets. And as you can see, the way these platforms are now working has changed significantly.

But as more and more studies claim social media does more harm than good for the young audiences, the concern is justified.

Vector created by Freepik

Read next: Metaverse Gains Some Good Vibes After Being Displayed As A Vehicle For Better Freedom Of Expression
Previous Post Next Post