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Thursday, April 18, 2024

NY State Implements Measures to Safeguard Children on the Internet


On the 8th of September 2021, New York leaders have united to introduce two new bills aimed at protecting children online. Recent studies have highlighted the negative impact of excessive social media use on the mental⁣ health of young people, including higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming behaviors. ‍In ‍response,⁢ Governor Kathy Hochul, along with Attorney General James, Senator Gounardes, and Assemblymember ⁢Rozic, have issued a call to action to address the youth‌ mental health crisis.

“Our kids are in crisis, and it’s up to us, the adults in⁢ the room, to step up and protect them. The statistics are⁤ alarming: the number of teenage suicides is on the rise, and we are ⁢seeing a significant increase in⁣ anxiety and‍ depression diagnoses. It is crucial that we stand together and take ​action to ⁣safeguard our ⁣children’s future.​ I am honored ‍to work alongside Attorney General James, Senator Gounardes, and Assemblymember Rozic in this fight for our kids’ well-being.”

– Governor Kathy ‌Hochul

The details of the two ‍bills, named the⁢ Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act and ⁤the New⁣ York Child Data Protection ​Act, are as follows:

Bill #1: Stop Addictive⁢ Feeds Exploitation ⁤(SAFE) ‍for Kids‍ Act
The SAFE for Kids‍ Act aims to⁤ eliminate the features on social ​media platforms that negatively affect⁣ young users. Currently, these platforms use algorithms to ‍curate addictive feeds for⁤ users, ‍which has been ⁢linked to increased time spent on social ⁤media and significant mental health issues for minors. To address this problem, the bill will:

– Default users under 18 to a chronological feed ⁢from accounts they follow, similar to how social media feeds used to function. Minors can also opt in‍ to receive addictive feeds with⁤ parental consent.

– Give parents the ability to block their child’s ⁣access to social media between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. ​and limit their daily screen time.

– Prohibit platforms ‍from sending notifications to minors between ‌12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. without parental consent.

– Allow the Office of the Attorney General to take action against platforms for ⁤violating these⁤ requirements, with the possibility of civil penalties up‍ to $5,000 per violation.⁣ Parents of minors can ‍also bring a civil​ suit ‌for damages up to $5,000 per incident.

– Give platforms‍ the​ opportunity to correct any claims made by the parent or guardian of⁣ a minor.

Please note that these regulations will only apply to social media platforms that use algorithmic feeds comprised of user-generated and recommended content based on collected data.

Bill #2: The New⁣ York Child Data Protection⁣ Act
To protect minors’ privacy online, the New York Child Data Protection Act will prohibit all⁢ websites from collecting, using, sharing, or ‌selling personal data of anyone under the age of 18 without informed consent. For⁣ children under 13, this consent must come from a parent. The bill authorizes the Attorney General’s office to enforce this law, seeking damages or civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation.

Alejandro Mendoza
Alejandro Mendoza
Alejandro Mendoza is a dedicated journalist, known for his in-depth research and commitment to truth. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, he specializes in revealing and reporting on significant local issues.
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