New anti-algorithm legislation could fill user feeds with spam
On Monday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Senator Nancy Skinner, and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks introduced two new social media bills limiting access to social media for users who are minors.
SB 976 would default social media users under 18 to a chronological feed, rewarding posters who upload high volumes of content rather than quality content. AB 1949, which creates new regulations on the use of minors’ data, would force online platforms to conduct age verification on all users and limit the ability of online platforms to provide curated digital experiences.
“Unfortunately, these social media bills will actually mean more harmful content and less curation for young social media users,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “Most parents want to see social media moving in the opposite direction, but chronological feeds reward spam posting rather than quality content. To make matters worse, these bills would violate privacy by requiring online platforms to conduct identity verification on all users, not just minors, in order to comply with the new regulations.”
Last year, California’s latest attempt at social media regulation was struck down by a federal court for violating the First Amendment. The unconstitutional law was also introduced by Assemblymember Wicks and defended by Attorney General Bonta in court.
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