New York State Bill Would Regulate Social Media Use by Minors New York State Bill Would Regulate Social Media Use by Minors

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The state of New York is on the brink of making significant changes to how social media platforms operate for minors, potentially becoming the pioneer state in such regulation. 

If passed, the bill would impose restrictions on websites, preventing them from collecting or sharing personal data of users under 18 without explicit consent, which strengthens existing privacy rules tailored for children under 13.

It would empower parents to enforce stricter controls over their children’s social media usage, including setting limits on usage times, particularly at night, and curbing the deluge of notifications that often contribute to addictive behaviors.

Kiera, a mother of five, said she doesn’t allow her children to use social media at all.

“My daughter, she tries to, but no. Because so much stuff can be put out on the internet, I don’t think it’s age-appropriate.”

According to Alexander Dunbar, a media ethics professor at Syracuse University, while the proposed bill presents a simplified solution to a complex problem, it may only offer a temporary fix. 

“It feels like a very base level solution. This reminds me of  Twitter [X] in the first few years when it was just tweets as they were posted and they came in chronologically but it was also a sort of very basic solution and I’m wondering if this is a starting point where they actually want to evolve this into something more complicated.”

If enacted, New York would join a growing list of states, including Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana, in implementing laws to restrict social media companies’ influence.

 However, industry groups have raised concerns, arguing that such legislation may infringe on teenagers’ First Amendment rights to access lawful information.

Gov. Kathy Hochul clarified that the aim isn’t to ban young people from social media but rather to shield them from harmful content. In an interview with NPR, she said the need to rethink the algorithms that dictate what minors see online, aiming for a more positive digital experience.

Related Articles