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New York Governor Signs Legislation to Stop Addictive Social Media Feeds

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Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that she signed legislation that aims to protect children from harmful social media feeds.


The Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) For Kids Act requires social media companies to restrict feeds on their platforms that are considered addictive to users under 18. The app will require parental approval to receive a regular feed. Underage users will still be able to search for specific topics, but the apps will not push their typical addictive feed. Additionally, notifications regarding these feeds will be muted from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. as further protection.

Governor Hochul also signed the New York Child Data Protection Act, prohibiting social media companies from harvesting and sharing data of anyone under the age of 18. Users can still allow their data to be shared, but they will need to be given informed consent to do so, and unless the website absolutely requires the data to run properly, no information will be collected.

The SAFE for Kids Act is the first bill of its kind to be signed into law by any state. New York aims to send a message to big tech companies, whose social media websites are regarded as algorithmically addictive. Addictive feeds drive unhealthy levels of social media consumption, negatively affecting the mental health of children and adults alike.

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