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New York Social Media Bill To Allow Parents To Restrict ‘Addictive’ Feeds For Their Kids


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The New York state Legislature has passed the New York Social Media Bill, a groundbreaking regulation that allows parents to block their kids from seeing social media posts suggested by algorithms. This New York Social Media Law aims to mitigate the adverse social media effects on kids and teens, particularly the addictive nature of such content. Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law.

Passed on June 7, 2024, the New York Social Media Bill prevents platforms from displaying algorithmically suggested posts to users under 18 unless there is verifiable parental consent. Instead, children would only see posts from accounts they follow. Additionally, it restricts platforms from sending notifications about suggested posts to minors between midnight and 6 a.m. without parental consent.

Attorney General Letitia James, a key advocate for the New York Social Media Law, will be responsible for creating rules to verify user ages and determine parental consent. These guidelines will be established within 180 days, after which the bill will take effect. James stated, “Our children are enduring a mental health crisis, and social media is fueling the fire and profiting from the epidemic.” This highlights the serious social media effects on kids and teens, including mental health challenges and social media addiction effects.

The tech industry has pushed back against the New York Social Media Law, arguing it unconstitutionally censors sites and raises concerns about privacy and age verification. Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a trade group including X and Meta, called the bill “an assault on free speech and the open internet by the state of New York.” Szabo noted that similar bills in other states were defeated due to First Amendment and privacy concerns. He emphasized that parents, not politicians, should set rules for their families.

Some social media platforms have already introduced parental controls in response to concerns about social media effects on kids and teens. Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, unveiled tools last year to let parents set time limits and monitor their kids’ Instagram use.

Other states have also tried to regulate social media use among children. Utah recently overhauled its social media youth restrictions after court challenges, and a federal judge in Arkansas blocked a policy requiring parental consent for minors to create social media accounts.

At the federal level, lawmakers have held congressional hearings on child safety on social media, but no broad legislation has been passed.

The New York state Assembly gave final passage to the New York Social Media Bill on Friday, and the state Senate passed it on Thursday.

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