California bill aims to protect children from social media dangers

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

One father is pushing for the bill’s passage after experiencing a loss of his own.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Lawmakers are considering bills this session aimed at enhancing social media safety, and one bill would give parents a powerful tool to protect their children from harm.

Social media is an everyday part of many people’s lives, but while there are fun videos and ways to connect, there are also dangers that lurk behind the screen. This includes dangers like illegal drug distribution, cyberbullying and violence.

A bill under consideration by California lawmakers aims to change that.

Senate Bill 1444 would give parents the option to use third-party safety software that would alert them if their child is at risk of or experiencing harms, such as substance abuse, an eating disorder, human trafficking or violence.

It’s known as Sammy’s Law, named after a teen who died after taking a pill that turned out to have a lethal amount of fentanyl.

It’s something that hits close to home for Chris Didier, who lost his 17-year-old son Zach after he bought a fake pill from someone on Snapchat.

“Sammy’s Law, I believe if it was enacted and we were aware as parents that there’s something dangerous going on between your son and this other person, it would have allowed us an opportunity to engage with our son,” said Didier. “So, I really believe this would make a measurable difference.”

The bill, introduced by State Senator Henry Stern, has passed through two committees so far.

“Social media needs to put people over profits, and they’re not doing that. So, legislators need to get involved,” said Didier.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.