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Minnesota: Bill prohibiting social media manipulation passes first reading and referred to Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee

On March 7, 2024, Senate Bill 4696 creating the Prohibiting Social Media Manipulation Act, a companion bill to House Bill 4400, passed its first reading before the Minnesota Senate and was referred to the Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee.

In particular, the bill defines concepts such as 'algorithmic ranking system,' 'expressed preferences,' and 'social media platform.'

Furthermore, the bill requires that social media platforms that do business in Minnesota or provide products or services that are targeted to residents of Minnesota, and have more than 10,000 monthly active users, fulfill the following requirements:

  • provide default privacy settings regarding:
    • discovery of user's user-generated content;
    • messages, requests, reactions, comments, or other contact from a user that is not already within the user's existing network;
    • exposure of the user's location;
    • the dissemination of any information about the user outside of the user's existing network; and
    • incorporating the user's user-generated content or the user's facial or biometric data, into generative artificial intelligence (AI) models;
  • provide an accessible user interface to opt in to the heightened protection regarding user engagement; and
  • publicly post information such as explanations on the designation of new account holders, usage limits, and content promotion.

The bill would make social media platforms liable for a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation, in addition to damages, and enforcement could be handled by the attorney general.

If adopted, the bill is set to enter into force on July 1, 2025.

You can read the bill as introduced here and track its progress here.