New York passes social media ban for kids: Explained

The New York State Legislature passed a bill on Friday that will allow parents to regulate their children's social media algorithms. 

The move comes amid concern over social media addiction in children. 

What's in the social media bill

Based on content the legislation describes as "addictive", the bill would: 

  • Stop platforms from showing suggested posts (considered "addictive") to people under the age of 18
  • Block platforms from sending notifications about suggested posts to minors between midnight and 6 a.m. without parental consent
  • Only show posts from accounts they (children) follow

Under the bill, minors could still see suggested posts if they have what the bill defines as "verifiable parental consent."

Attorney General Letitia James, who pushed for the bill, will determine the age of the user and a mechanism to establish parental consent. 

The bill could take effect 180 days after James sets those guidelines.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, is expected to sign it into law soon.


The New York social media bill has drawn heavy criticism from the tech industry over censoring. 

Many people question how age verification would even work and whether the process would undermine the privacy of users under 18. Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice called it "an assault on free speech and the open internet by the state of New York."

Some platforms have chosen to add parental controls to their sites as pressure has mounted. 

Last year, Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, released tools that allow parents to set time limits to monitor how much time their kids spend on the apps. 

At the federal level, lawmakers continue to hold congressional hearings over child social media safety in order to try to pass broader legislation on the issue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.