Mon, March 25, 2024

Two New State Bills in New York Can Make Kids Safer Online

We need your help to protect kids on social media in New York state and across the U.S!

Thanks to alarming stories from recent government hearings and the experiences of families across the country, we’re so much more aware of the potential negative effects that social media can have on kids and teens. Research has identified the devastating mental health effects associated with excessive social media use by children and teens. For example, one study shows that young people from age 12 to 15 who use social media for three hours or more a day are at heightened risk for depression or anxiety.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen no real movement in Congress or in states to force social media companies to protect kids from the mental health harms connected with their products.

Time and time again, the tech industry has used its financial resources and influence to push back on legislation that would create limits on social media that might hurt their revenue. In particular, they want to keep in place the addictive nature of image feeds and notifications that is so crucial for earning advertising dollars. They have also shown little regard for protecting the privacy of kids and teens on social media.

The time is now to make the internet a safer and healthier place for kids and teens. We need parents, caregivers, and educators to fight back—and here in New York, we have two powerful ways to do just that.

There are two new bills in the New York state legislature that will protect kids online, and they’re gaining momentum:

  • The SAFE for Kids Act would require social media companies, like Instagram and TikTok, to restrict the addictive features on their platforms—the ones that harm young kids and teens the most. The bill would also help kids get a better night’s sleep by restricting notifications and social media access late at night.

We know that elected officials in Albany are hearing from tech lobbyists about these bills. The question is, are they also going to hear from the caregivers and teachers across the state who know the most about kids’ well-being?

These bills can pass, if enough of us speak up. Your legislators need to hear that keeping kids safe online is a priority for you. Reach out today to your assemblymember and state senator and ask them to support these two bills

Thank you for helping us with this important work! To get updates on these bills or any of the work Common Sense is doing to keep kids safe online, sign up for our newsletter.

Liz Foley is the senior director of advocacy campaigns at Common Sense Media. She oversees Common Sense’s digital mobilization efforts and works to get parents, educators, and others engaged in the organization’s advocacy campaigns. Learn more about our work at

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