Republican Senator Jack Martins, who represents New York’s 7th State Senate District, which includes part of Nassau County, has introduced legislation that would allow social media companies to allow minors to share information without parental consent. It is illegal to create or maintain an account under the circumstances or guardian, Martin’s office announced on Friday, May 26.

Martin’s office said in their announcement that the proposal aims to allow parents to more effectively monitor their children’s online activity and protect them from the “dark side of social media,” which it says is “dangerous.” .

“As a father of four daughters, I am very concerned about the growing trend of social media and its detrimental impact on children and minors under the age of 18,” Martin said.

He added: “Our children and young people need to stay away from constant and prolonged visits to social media sites to prevent depression among other things.”

The bill will take a two-pronged approach:

  • It will require social media companies to seek parental consent before allowing minors to use social media platforms between 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.;
  • It would target social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok and Instagram and require them to provide parents with access to children’s posts and messages.

The bill would also authorize the New York attorney general’s office to pursue social media companies for any violations involving parental consent, with fines of up to $25,000 for each violation.

“The main concept of the proposal is to prioritize ‘children’s safety’ by limiting the spread of bullying, hate speech and online misinformation that can have a harmful impact on minors,” Martins said.

Proposed legislation follows Report by Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of America Published on Tuesday, May 23, it suggests that social media platforms may pose mental health risks to children and young people.

According to Murthy, social media can expose children to inappropriate content, increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety, perpetuate low self-esteem, and disrupt sleep.

Murthy’s report also revealed that a whopping 95 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds use social media platforms, with as many as a third saying they use it almost regularly.

“Children are exposed to harmful content on social media, from violence and pornography to bullying and harassment,” Murthy said, adding, “For far too many children, social media use is affecting their sleep and precious face-to-face time with friends and family.”

“We’re in the middle of a national youth mental health crisis, and I worry that social media is a big driver of that crisis — a crisis that we have to urgently address,” Murthy continued.

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