New California Social Media Bill Targets Teen Online Access

Like past bills, AB 3172 conflicts with the First Amendment

Mar 20, 2024

This week, California Representative Josh Lowenthal introduced new legislation (AB 3172) targeting minors’ access to social media and online resources. The new bill, sponsored by Common Sense Media, would impose extreme financial penalties on social media platforms for young users that experience harm. Over the last year, federal courts have blocked similar legislation in California and elsewhere for running afoul of the First Amendment.

“This legislation would force social media companies to censor what kids can see online,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “For young people in marginalized communities, including LGBTQ teens and users looking for reproductive health information, over-moderation of online content will limit access to important resources. By requiring that social media platforms put teens in a bubble, this legislation threatens to cut young people off from a whole world of information.”

Last year, California’s latest attempt at social media regulation was enjoined 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. Chamber of Progress’s amicus brief in NetChoice v. Bonta is available here.


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