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Link: New York to ban 'addictive' suggested posts on social media feeds for kids - Fast Company

The New York state Legislature on Friday passed a bill that would allow parents to block their kids from getting social media posts suggested by a platform’s algorithm—a regulation that tries to curtail feeds that critics argue are addicting to children. Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to sign it into law. The move comes amid heightened concern about social media use among children and an ever-unfolding push to regulate tech platforms in different ways at the state and federal levels. In practice, the bill would stop platforms from showing suggested posts to people under the age of 18, content the legislation describes as “addictive.” Instead, children would get posts only from accounts they follow. A minor could still get the suggested posts if he or she has what the bill defines as “verifiable parental consent.” It would also block platforms from sending notifications about suggested posts to minors between midnight and 6 a.m. without parental consent. The legislation tasks Attorney General Letitia James, who pushed for the bill, with coming up with rules to determine both the age of the user and a mechanism to determine parental consent. The bill would take effect 180 days after James establishes those guidelines. “Our children are enduring a mental health crisis, and social media is fueling the fire and profiting from the epidemic,” James said. As with any regulatory effort against social media companies, New York’s bill has drawn heavy pushback from the tech industry, which argues it unconstitutionally censors the sites. There have also been questions from critics over how age verification would work and whether that process would undermine the privacy of young users. #


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