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New York moves to ban ‘addictive’ social media feeds for kids

Written by on June 11, 2024

The New York state Legislature has passed a bill aimed at protecting children from addictive social media feeds by allowing parents to block algorithm-suggested posts. Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to sign the bill into law. The legislation, which addresses concerns about social media’s impact on children’s mental health, would prevent platforms from showing suggested posts to users under 18 unless they have verified parental consent. Additionally, it would block notifications about suggested posts to minors between midnight and 6 a.m. without parental consent.

Attorney General Letitia James, who advocated for the bill, will be responsible for developing guidelines to verify users’ ages and parental consent. The law would take effect 180 days after these guidelines are established.

The tech industry has strongly opposed the bill, citing concerns about free speech and privacy. Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, criticized the legislation as unconstitutional and argued that parents, not politicians, should regulate children’s social media use. Similar bills in other states have faced legal challenges and been blocked by courts.

Some social media platforms, like Meta, have already introduced parental controls in response to regulatory pressure. Other states, such as Utah and Arkansas, have also attempted to regulate social media use among children, with mixed results. At the federal level, discussions on child safety on social media have taken place, but no comprehensive legislation has been passed.

The New York state Assembly approved the bill on Friday, following the state Senate’s approval on Thursday.

Source: Rochester First


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