Social Media Sites May Be Sued-Celebrity Lawyer Explains
[Source: News Nation]
CELEBRITY LAWYER CHRISTOPHER C. MELCHER, WHO IS RANKED AS A BEST FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IN CA, explains why social media sites may be sued On News Nation.
Social Media companies could soon be held responsible if children become addicted to their platforms. A first in the nation bill headed for a vote in California’s state Senate that would apply to companies like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but not streaming services or companies that offer email and text messaging services.
According to the Addiction Center, an estimated 27% of children who spend three hours or more a day on social media show signs and symptoms of poor mental health.
Joining us now to talk more about this is legal analyst and family law expert Chris Melcher. Thank you for being here. What is the government’s argument here?
“Well, they’re trying to regulate social media that becomes addictive. Where a child is so obsessed by using the features of their products that they can’t stop and it causes them harm. So that’s the point of this legislation is to try and rein that in not about the content that they’re doing, but more about the features of these very, very popular apps that even the adults are kind of being addicted to using,” states top family law attorney Christopher C. Melcher.
What will the tech companies argue as a defense? What do you expect? Will section 230 be a shield for them?
“Well, yeah, they’re definitely arguing all that, but the legislature in California has kind of worked around that and they’re saying that any features here that just pass along content created by another user, or that involve the expression of free speech will not be subject to this law,” explains the celebrity divorce lawyer of top family law firm Walzer Melcher LLP in California.
“It has to be a feature or design element such as that like Snap, which had been sued for a speed filter that they had on there that would show the actual speed of a vehicle. Some young kids were using that going 100 miles an hour and there was an accident. So it’s going after the features of the app, not the content,” says the international family law attorney.
Only government attorneys would be able to go after these social media companies, right? Why is that important?
“Well, they’ve allowed public prosecutors to go after it and in an amendment now they’re suggesting that private attorneys would be able to sue as well in a class action. So the main problem with this is it could be really floodgates of litigation. It’s definitely a problem to address, but I don’t know that putting it into the courts is going to solve it,” explains Christopher C. Melcher.
All right. Well, I guess we will see how it plays out.
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