ICYMI: Attorney General Bonta in USA Today: Social Media is Addictive by Design. We Must Act to Protect our Kids’ Mental Health.

Monday, March 18, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and New York Attorney General Letitia James last week published an op-ed in USA Today, excerpted below, highlighting legislation sponsored by the California Department of Justice.

By Attorney General Rob Bonta and Attorney General Letitia James:

As state attorney generals, we have two primary duties: defending our states’ laws and interests, and protecting the rights and well-being of the people we were elected to serve. When Americans across the country faced urgent and powerful threats to their health, safety and prosperity, attorneys general across the nation have stood together to take them on. Now, as a mental health crisis exacerbated by social media giants seeking to addict and commodify the attention of children grows worse and worse each year, it’s time to take collective action again. 

We will not stand by and watch an arms race among social media mega-corporations over who can best profit from our children’s pain and addiction. That is why we are using every tool at our disposal to fight back against these pernicious practices: from the courthouse to the statehouse.  That is why we are also championing legislation in our respective states to crack down on addictive feeds and safeguard against the collection and sale of children’s personal information.

Curbing the excesses of some of the world’s most powerful and influential companies will not be easy. But the formative mental health of a generation is at stake, and we cannot afford to stand idly by and not respond. We’ve stepped up before as attorneys general to address a rising threat to the health and safety of our constituents. With the support and courage of our colleagues in our states’ legislatures, we know that we will succeed, and that children will finally be protected against the most insidious harms of social media. 

To read the op-ed in its entirety please see here.

To learn more about California’s legislation please see here.

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