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Social media platforms could face California law for addictive algorithms

The Wall Street Journal has reported on a proposed California law that looks to protect children from addictive algorithms online. The California legislature is currently debating an amended bill to enable parents and the Attorney General to sue social media platforms for addictive methods within social media platforms.

The Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act was proposed early in May, but has since been reviewed and amended to increase the chances of it passing through the legislative process.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal: “Social-media companies such as Facebook parent Meta Platforms could be sued by government attorneys in California for features that allegedly harm children through addiction under a first-in-the-nation bill that faces an important vote in the state Senate here Tuesday. The measure would permit the state attorney general, local district attorneys, and the city attorneys of California’s four largest cities to sue social media companies including Meta – which also owns Instagram – as well as TikTok, and Snapchat, under the state’s law governing unfair business practices.”

How will this affect social media platforms?

What these addictive features are is as yet unidentified, however, the legislation outlines that it intends for platforms to lessen their reliance on addictive methods, like tracking an individual’s usage and delivering more of it to them.

Social media platforms are already dealing with regulations regarding the privacy and collection of data, with particular enforcement from the European Union, but this legislation from the Californian courts could be the start of a trend in regulating for the sake of addiction to social media.

The idea could be an important step for the latest generation, who are often raised on the internet, leading to a shorter attention span and, in the case of Facebook and Instagram, isolation and body dysmorphia respectively.
However, it is likely to give social media marketing a performance knock.