(KRON) — California State Senator Nancy Skinner has introduced a bill to the California Senate this month that will prevent social media platforms from targeting kids and directing them to sites that sell drugs laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl overdoses have become an epidemic in the Bay Area. By October 2022, 45 people were dying every month in San Francisco from accidental drug overdoses, some under the age of 18.
The bill does not only focuses on the purchase of fentanyl but also holds social media accountable with content that promotes suicide, eating disorders, or inflicting harm on others. The first violation would result in a $250,000 fine.
“Allow the Attorney General to enforce. It also would allow a parent or another person to sue a social media platform based on the evidence that their algorithm directed them to this type of crime,” said Senator Skinner.
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There is evidence of fentanyl use among teens all over California. At Los Gatos High School, a letter was sent out to parents in December making them aware of at least four students overdosing. No students died and a drug dealer was arrested and charged.
The bill also prevents social media platforms from targeting children when it comes to the use and sale of illegal firearms, such as ghost guns.
Senator Skinner’s bill is scheduled for its first hearing in March.