Assemblyman Santabarbara: New Legislation to Protect Children from the Harmful Effects of Social Media Signed into Law

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced that legislation he helped pass to protect children from the dangers of social media has been signed into law. The measures include establishing guidelines to prevent addictive feeds, protecting minors from having their data accessed and requiring social media companies to publicize their policies.

“Growing up in today’s world means interacting with others on social media,” said Santabarbara. “Many children have their own phones these days and some of the things they see and interact with can affect their mental health and violate their privacy. As a father, I understand the need to protect our children when they are on the internet. Online companies and social media sites often take advantage of impressionable young people to increase sales and clicks. That’s why I helped pass legislation that has now been signed into law that will provide an extra safety net against these potential harms and keep our children safe from exploitation and inappropriate content.”

Studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can have adverse mental health effects and lead to an increase in body dissatisfaction, eating disorders and low self-esteem.[1] The Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation for Kids Act would prohibit social media companies from using addictive algorithms to suggest content to kids without getting consent from their parents (A.8148-A). In addition, the New York Child Data Protection Act would prohibit online websites, applications and services from collecting and sharing children’s data without the consent of a parent (A.8149-A.)