Governor Kathy Hochul, alongside Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, is pushing for a new bill that would transform how minors use social media in New York. The proposed legislation requires parental consent for online platforms to collect personal data from minors and use predictive algorithms for users under 18.
Assemblywoman Rozic, the bill’s author, stresses the need for this legislation due to the addictive nature of social media features and their potential harm to the mental health and development of young people. The bill responds to concerns about misinformation and the negative impact of social media on body image and mental health, as well as more serious issues like the radicalization of young users.
Under this proposal, without parental consent, teens would only access a non-algorithmic, chronological feed of followed accounts. While some experts, like American University’s Jason Mollica, advocate for more focus on parental oversight and education, others see the necessity of legislative action in the absence of federal regulation.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, recently announced new policies to protect teens, but the bill aims for a broader, more enforceable approach. The Attorney General’s Office would monitor and enforce compliance with the law, ensuring that social media companies operate responsibly in regards to youth users.
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