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New Laws to Protect Kids Online in New York

The use of social media is notoriously addictive, especially for children and teenagers. Despite some government interest in protecting our youth online, there hasn’t been much progress. In response, several states have passed their own laws, including New York.

Two New Social Media Laws

New York recently passed two new laws to help protect kids when using social media. The first law is called SAFE for Kids. It says social media apps have to get parents’ permission before suggesting videos or accounts to kids. Right now, apps pick videos for kids without asking.

The new law also doesn’t let apps send notifications about suggested posts late at night. This is to make sure kids aren’t kept up looking at their phones. The state will create a way for apps to check someone’s age and if their parents approve suggestions. Apps have 180 days to update and follow the new rules. If they don’t, they can be fined $5,000 each time they break the rule.

The second law limits what info apps can collect about kids without permission. It also stops apps from selling kids’ data. This law starts next year.

Will the Laws Work?

People disagree on the best way to protect kids online. While most agree it’s important, some worry too many restrictions could limit kids’ access to helpful resources. Others worry about privacy if laws require real identities.

Groups against the laws say they could be hard to follow and may not work. One group sued California over a similar law, and it was stopped. They say New York’s law could expose kids to more risks by changing the order posts show up. A lawsuit against New York’s laws is expected too.

Only time will tell if these new laws can protect kids better or cause more problems online. The debate on youth safety versus privacy will likely continue.

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