New legislation introduced to make social media safer for children

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)— According to the U.S. Surgeon General, teens using social media more than 3 hours a day are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety.

“Social media is causing damage to countless kids today,” said Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday.

New legislation introduced in New York would prohibit minors from being exposed to addictive feeds, which state leaders say are personalized to keep people on social media longer.

“You don’t ask for this content. It finds its way to you by very sophisticated ways,” Hochul explained.

The legislation would also allow parents to choose whether or not their children access social media and receive notifications between the hours of midnight and 6am.

Dr. Jim Saperstone said it’s important for parents to be involved and to talk to their children about social media.

“I think what they need to do is really be aware of who they are talking to and what’s going on, and to check their security settings, because they’re are some security settings that will prevent kids from going to some really nasty websites,” said Saperstone.

Another bill would prevent companies from collecting children’s personal online data.

“They know that the more time children have been online, the more they will see and the more data that can be collected to sell to advertisers,” explained Tish James, New York’s Attorney General.

Both bills will give the Office of the Attorney General power to seek civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation from social media companies.

The State of Utah is also taking a stand against social media, suing TikTok.

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