California, controversial internet addiction law rejected

A controversial and rumored social networking bill was rejected by the California state congress . If approved, the proposal would have allowed parents to sue social media platforms if their children developed an internet addiction.

The Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act ran aground in committee, not getting the votes needed to be debated in the Senate chamber. Parents could have asked social networks for civil compensation in all cases in which it was determined that their children had developed an addiction precisely because of functions or elements designed specifically to encourage users to spend more time on the applications.

The measure would have been applied exclusively to companies with a turnover of more than 100 million dollars, or those that develop or distribute video games.

The promoters of the proposal expressed their frustration following its rejection. “With the death of this law,” said Senator Jordan Cunningham, “a handful of large web corporations will be able to continue to subject millions of California children to their experiments, putting their well-being at risk.”

Those who opposed the proposal had argued that such a law would have forced social networks to divide their users between children, adolescents and adults, with the consequence that it would become mandatory to provide an identity document at the time of registration, with serious privacy risks.

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