New York Lawmakers Push to Ban ‘Addictive’ Social Media for Children

 Lawmakers in New York have passed legislation that seeks to curb “addictive” social media for children.

The Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act along with the New York Child Data Protection Act claim to give parents more control over social media usage, however critics argue the legislation could hinder a child’s privacy and freedom of speech online.

The bills were praised by Attorney General Letitia James, who claimed they were needed to help curb the “mental health crisis” among the youth.

“Our children are enduring a mental health crisis, and social media is fueling the fire and profiting from the epidemic,” James said in a statement. “New York state is once again leading the nation, and I hope other states will follow suit and pass legislation to protect children and put their mental health above big tech companies’ profits.”

Under the SAFE for Kids Act, parents would be required to undergo a digital ID verification process prior to controlling their child’s social media.

Critics of the legislation claim that the use of digital ID’s raises security concerns.

“New York lawmakers just put a fresh coat of paint on a rotten bill,” CEO of the Chamber of Progress Adam Kovacevich said.

“Algorithms actually make online platforms better for teens, by boosting healthy content over hate, harm, and misinformation. This bill’s unconstitutional limits are going to have a hard time surviving a court challenge.”