SB 764: Social Media Platforms and Minors
This bill would prohibit a social media platform from targeting unsafe content to minors
By Chris Micheli, March 29, 2023 3:45 pm
Senate Bill 764 by Sen. Steve Padilla (D-San Diego) would add Civil Code Section 1714.12 dealing with social media platforms. First, SB 764 would prohibit a social media platform from adopting or implementing a policy or practice related to the targeting of content to minors that prioritizes user engagement of minor users with the platform over the safety, health, and well-being of the minor users.
Second, the test for this prohibition would be if the social media platform knows or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should know that prioritizing the user engagement of minor users with the platform over the safety, health, and well-being of the minor users has caused harm to minor users or it is reasonably foreseeable that it will cause harm to minor users.
Third, the bill would make a social media platform that knowingly violates the above prohibition liable for a civil penalty of not more than $1 million per minor user of the social media platform. If a social media platform violates the above prohibition other than knowingly, the platform would be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $250,000 per minor user of the social media platform.
Fourth, a civil penalty under this new law would be assessed and recovered only in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General. Fifth, a court could, at the Attorney General’s request, order regular inspections of a social media platform found to have violated the prohibition by an independent auditor appointed by the Attorney General to monitor and validate the social media platform’s compliance with the law.
Sixth, any penalties, fees, and expenses recovered in an action under this new law would be deposited in the General Fund. Seventh, the bill would define the terms “social media platform” and “user engagement.”
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