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California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that he has signed into law a new social media bill to strengthen the transparency of social media companies on hate and discrimination.
AB 587, proposed by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D), requires social media companies to post their terms of service on each platform, including specifying accepted user behavior and activities and those that go against the policies of the platform.
“California deserve to know how these platforms impact our public discourse, and this action brings much-needed transparency and accountability to the policies that shape the social media content we consume every day,” Newsom said in a released statement. through his office.
The bill also requires social media companies to submit reports to the Attorney General by January 1, 2024, which include the company’s current terms of service, specified content categories, company guidelines to process such content on their individual platforms and data relating to content violations.
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The Attorney General would then be required to make “all conditions of service reports submitted under these provisions” available to the general public via a website.
“Social media has created incredible opportunities, but also real and immediate threats to our children, to vulnerable communities, and to American democracy as we know it,” Gabriel said in the statement released by Newsom’s office. “This new law will finally pull back the curtain and compel tech companies to provide meaningful transparency about how they shape our public discourse, as well as the role of social media in promoting hate speech, misinformation, conspiracy theories and other dangerous content.”
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Newsom’s social media bill is one of many recent efforts by lawmakers in recent months to hold social media companies accountable through legislation.
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In May, the California State Assembly signed a bill that would allow parents to sue social media companies for up to $250,000 in the event that their parent’s excessive use of the platform child would cause harm.
The social media platform’s Duty to Children Act was drafted by Rep. Jordan Cunningham, R-California, and passed shortly after the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and 2 teachers dead, reignited the conversation on social media. Salvador Ramos, 18, had posted on Facebook that he planned to hurt his mother and Robb Elementary school.
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In July, Reps. Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., introduced legislation that targets TikTok and other similar apps they say pose a clear danger to young users. The Combating Harmful Actions with Transparency on Social Act (CHATS) would ultimately change the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program to clarify what types of offenses relate to which social media platforms.