Parents who may be concerned that their children are becoming addicted to social media could soon be able to take legal action against the platforms, at least in California. A bipartisan bill, introduced by California State Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), would allow parents to sue social media companies on behalf of their children. It passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously earlier this week.
If passed into law, Assembly Bill 2408 would allow parents and the state Attorney General to sue social media companies on behalf of children who are harmed as a result of a social media addiction. The bill, dubbed the “Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act,” outlines specific safe harbors that would exempt social media companies from liability if the company identifies and removes addictive features of their platform within a specified amount of time.
The bill will next head directly to the Assembly Floor, where it will be debated later this month.
“Social media companies’ own research shows how addictive their platforms are for kids – and there’s nothing parents can do to stop it,” said Cunningham. “If you’re going to create a product for children, you need to design it in a way that doesn’t result in some of those kids becoming addicted and having to seek psychiatric care. Our bill would require social media companies to change their practices, or be held liable for the damages their addictive features cause.
The bill would only apply to companies earning at least $100 million in revenue annually. Companies found in violation could face civil penalties of $25,000 per violation, or up to $250,000 per violation if it is done knowingly and willfully.
“Social media is a lifeline for the next generation,” explained Larissa May, founder of #HalfTheStory, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the next generation’s relationship with social media.
She recently testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee at the State Capitol in support of the bill.
“Young minds are especially malleable and vulnerable to the implications of weaponized algorithms as their prefrontal cortex (the home of executive function, control and decision making) is not fully developed,” May said via an email exchange. “At a young age, their neurochemistry is being disrupted by technology, and quite frankly, it’s moving faster than the human mind. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
May warned that digital abstinence doesn’t work for teens, and in fact, sometimes it can make matters worse. She said there are major misunderstandings about tech and wellbeing, which support the need for AB2408.
“Social Media is a coping mechanism,” May continued. “Teens are spending time on social media to self soothe and escape the challenges they face in their daily lives. The teens spending more time on the platform are more likely to be suffering emotionally and more susceptible to the traps of the infinite games we call social media.”
Some experts have suggested simply turning off a device won’t solve the problem, and have also noted that all screen time shouldn’t be seen as bad.
“Measuring social media time through quantity is like measuring calories purely by number. In the same way zero calorie candy is more toxic than an apple with more calories, the same applies to social media,” May suggested. “While many youth do have positive relationships with technology, our platforms must be held accountable to build safer ecosystems for our teens to thrive, especially the vulnerable ones.
“We must recognize that this policy will not solve all the problems of our youth, but it will be a step forward for safe infrastructure design,” May added. “We wouldn’t take our children over an unstable bridge, and we shouldn’t send them to platforms where algorithms are predatory. Until our society treats mental health as physical health, we will continue to face this crisis. If teens are held accountable for the time they spend online, tech companies should be too.”
One could question whether the social media platforms are entirely at fault for the overuse by younger Americans.
“Social media companies are certainly to blame for a lot of things, but parents also have a duty to their children,” suggested technology industry analyst Roger Entner of Recon Analytics. “There are plenty of apps and permissioning available that lets parents restrict what their children can do and not do on their mobile devices and computers.”
Media Advisory: Memorandum of Understanding on Education to be Signed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and Minister of Labrador Affairs, and Scott Reid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Education with the NunatuKavut Community Council tomorrow (Friday, September 30).
Minister Dempster and Parliamentary Secretary Reid will be joined by Todd Russell, President, NunatuKavut Community Council and Christina White, Director of Schools, Newfoundland and Labrador English School District at this signing.
The event will take place at Queen Peace Middle School, Happy Valley – Goose Bay beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation
Black Market Releasing Launches With Screening Of Award-winning Filmmaker Sharon Lewis’ Queer Film “With Wonder”
TORONTO, ON – In celebration of LGBT History Month, Canada’s Black Market Releasing (BMR) officially launches with a screening of award-winning filmmaker Sharon Lewis’ Queer film “With Wonder” The soul-searching feature documentary will be followed by a talkback with the Cast & Crew at the Carlton Cinemas. BMR will formally announce the screening dates for the Canadian Screening Tour of “With Wonder” happening until 2023 in Cineplex Cinemas across Canada. The evening will be hosted by a Canadian dancer and choreographer best known for his regular appearances on the reality television series Canada’s Drag Race. Hollywood Jade. The screening will be followed by a Q&A moderated by award-winning storyteller and LGBT activist Rhoma Spencer; featuring the film’s producer Byron Wong of Iron Soul Media, Andreanna Chin and distribution experts Frances-Anne Solomon, Founder of CTMG and Distribution partner, Michael Dob bin of Capitol Media Group.
“With Wonder” is a love letter to God, asking the question, can you be a Christian and Queer. Queer activists from around the world, a Queer/Transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American comedian in LA; rural Queer folks in Jamaica and Black; Asian and South Asian Queer Clerics in London, San Francisco, and New York search for the answer on this journey. Their stories, though sometimes strained, are all connected by their Faith & Lewis’s poignant portrayal of their queerness. “With Wonder” is heartfelt and honest, delving into what for some might be uncomfortable conversations. The QPOC people in the film have come to terms and come out the other side, living their truth with the power of who they are.
“Since its inception the team at Black Market Releasing has stayed focused on its mission to find and release new and authentic stories from the BIPOC community. Entrance and recognition are necessary for BIPOC filmmakers. New films with diverse perspectives need a theatrical home. Simply. They need to be seen. We’ll be on tour across Canada, starting in Toronto, with the feature documentary “With Wonder”. It’s my sincere hope that introducing films like “With Wonder” to audiences everywhere, will lead to a better understanding and acceptance of the BIPOC community and their stories.”
WHAT: BLACK Market Releasing Official Launch with a special screening of of award-winning filmmaker Sharon Lewis’ Queer film “With Wonder”
WHEN: Oct 14, 2022
TIME: 6:30PM EST – Media Reception
7:30PM EST – Screening
LOCATION: Imagine Cinemas Carlton – 20 Carlton Street, Toronto
Black Market Releasing (BMR) is a part of the CaribbeanTales Media Group, founded by award winning Filmmaker and Academy member, Frances-Anne Solomon, and in partnership with Capital Motion Picture Group. BMR is a visionary new company, choosing bold, new, and authentic stories from diverse perspectives, introducing them to audiences around the world. BMR and The With Wonder Tour would not be possible without the support of Telefilm Canada. BMR is recognized by Telefilm as an authorized theatrical distributor in Canada.
Watch the official “With Wonder” trailer https://vimeo.com/686193132
Follow Black Market Releasing to learn more:
Media Inquiries & RSVP:
Sasha Stoltz Publicity:
Sasha Stoltz | Sasha@sashastoltzpublicity.com | 416.579.4804
Four Supportive Living Units To Open In Swift Current | News and Media – Government of Saskatchewan
Released on September 29, 2022
Swift Current residents living with brain injuries or disabilities will have improved access to affordable housing, thanks to investments from the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan.
Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, and Mental Health and Addictions Minister and Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley, on behalf of Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) Gene Makowsky, and representatives from Prairie Pioneers Independent Housing (PPIH) will celebrate the grand opening of four supportive housing units.
Through the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement under the National Housing Strategy, the project received $656,000 in funding.
The new four-plex is located at 302 Central Avenue South in Swift Current. These one-bedroom units include outdoor spaces and were designed to be suitable for individuals with brain injuries, with one designed for additional accessibility.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Hussen. “These new four-plex homes will provide stability and access to vital support services needed to live comfortably and with dignity. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”
“The Government of Saskatchewan knows that affordable housing helps people live in our communities to their fullest potential, and that some people may need additional support to live independently,” Hindley said. “That is why we are proud to support our partners at Prairie Pioneers Independent Housing as they develop housing options that offer residents dignity and security and contributes to their well-being, participation and success. I thank Prairie Pioneers for their important work that makes a difference in our community – and especially in the lives of their residents.”
“Upon acquiring the old Pioneer Lodge site, the board of Prairie Pioneer Independent Housing created a long-term vision to provide housing options for seniors with varying needs and who require specialized housing supports,” Prairie Pioneers Independent Housing CEO Deborah DeMars said. “This is our inaugural build on this new site and we look forward to continuing to build and create exciting housing options for seniors in our community.”
- PPIH has worked with the Saskatchewan Health Authority to determine the best way to house individuals with brain injuries. They have seen success when those with brain injuries live in safe, affordable and quiet supported living spaces, which inspire dignity and security.
- The four-plex is located near the PPIH administrative office, allowing management to have regular and informal contact with tenants who have higher needs.
- Pursuant to the National Housing Strategy (NHS), the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement will invest $449.9 million over the next 10 years, cost matched by the federal and provincial governments, in housing across the province. The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have reached agreement on the first three-year action plan.
- Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
- As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
- To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
- Under the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement, housing is a key priority in providing a better quality of life for Saskatchewan families and communities. Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan, through SHC, has invested $786 million to develop more than 12,000 housing units and repair nearly 5,500 homes. SHC has also invested more than $61 million to build nearly 300 units in residential care homes, and $430 million to improve provincially-owned housing. To learn more, visit www.saskatchewan.ca.
For more information, contact:
Office of the Minister for Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services
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