N.Y. Introduces Bill That Limits Teenagers Access To Algorithmic Social Media

L| New York Lt Governor Kathy Hochul Visits New York City School
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 18: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks to the media after a tour in a Queens public school to view safety precautions ahead of its opening during the continued Covid outbreak on August 18, 2021 in New York City. Hochul, who will become the governor of New York State on August 24th, is replacing current governor Andrew Cuomo who is resigning following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) TR| Turkish Parliament Passes Law Regulating Social Media Content
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JULY 29: In this photo illustration, social media apps are seen on a mobile phone on July 29, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey's parliament passed a new law Wednesday, to regulate social media content. The law will require foreign social media companies to have an appointed Turkish-based representative to deal with any concerns authorities have over content. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images) BL| ITALY-INTERNET-COMPANY-MARKETING-TIKTOK
TikTok influencers Florin Vitan (L) and Alessia Lanza perform a video for the social network TikTok in the "Defhouse", a TikTok influencers incubator in Milan, on January 21, 2021. - With dreams of the big screen but Internet in their veins, eight young Italian influencers are racking up followers as they spend their days in a Milan TikTok luxury loft. All the influencers live on site -- although the youngest still go to school -- where they receive training in a variety of areas potentially of use in their videos, whether music and culture, politics and current affairs, diction, or even good manners. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)
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OAN’s Abril Elfi 
12:52 PM – Thursday, October 12, 2023

New York legislators have introduced a new bill that regulates teenager’s access to social media by requesting parental agreement before they can see algorithm-driven feeds.


On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) along with Attorney General Letitia James, and two members of the state legislature introduced the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation for Kids Act (SAFE act). 

According to the governor, the legislation comes at a time when mental health concerns are rising among teens across the United States.

Hochul continued, explaining how teen suicide rates have spiked and that more youth are being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. 

“Our kids are in crisis, and the adults in the room need to step up,” Hochul said. “The statistics are extraordinarily disturbing: Teen suicide rates are spiking, and diagnoses of anxiety and depression are surging. It’s critical we all stand together to address the youth mental health crisis.”

The measure would ban services like TikTok’s “For You” page but would not affect information accessed through chronological feeds like TikTok’s “Following” page. 

The bill would also empower parents or guardians to limit teens’ access to platforms and prohibit access between midnight and 6 a.m. 

Failure to comply with the law could result in fines of up to $6,500 per infringement.

Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of global safety, said in a statement that the company already blocks most of its harmful content but will continue to work with legislators to bring easy solutions for parents on the issue.

“We refer to research, feedback from parents, teens, experts, and academics to inform our approach,” Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of global safety, said in a statement. “And we’ll continue evaluating proposed legislation and working with policymakers on developing simple, easy solutions for parents on these important industry wide issues.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, while social media has some benefits, it also poses “a meaningful risk of harm to youth.” 

The Surgeon General’s Social Media and Youth Mental Health Advisory stated that children and adolescents who spend more than three hours a day on social media face a twofold increase in the risk of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

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