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Google, Meta Join Big Tech Firms Opposing NY Online Child Safety Bills | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Google and Meta have joined other Big Tech firms to try to kill two New York bills that would protect children from becoming addicted to social media apps.

the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act would protect children by limiting social media companies’ ability to use addictive feeds keeping kids addicted to their devices. The Act requires parental consent before a social media company offers children addictive feeds and bars social media companies from pushing notifications to children and teens between midnight and 6 a.m. without parental consent. The New York Child Data Protection Act protects minors from having their personal data accessed.

“A group of Big Tech firms, advocacy groups and companies from other sectors have spent $823,235 lobbying Albany lawmakers through mid-March,” The New York Post reported, adding that Big Tech’s expenditure in opposing the bills “is expected to surpass the $1 million mark when the next round of disclosures surfaces next month.” The Post stated that Facebook and Meta have “spent the most on lobbying related to the tech bills,” adding, “Other top spenders include Google and TikTok.”

Tech firms have hit back, citing fears that the legislation would stifle freedom of speech, online privacy for teens, limit internet access for migrants and other underserved communities, and essentially disable algorithms that help to crack down on hate speech.

According to State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, a co-sponsor of the bills, a “whisper campaign” has been mounted in Albany against the bills, “It certainly makes the job a lot harder, because these companies, with limitless resources, are able to hire armies of lobbyists who just camp out in the capital all day. Legislators come and go and these folks are whispering in everyone’s ear,” he said.

Gounardes said “significant bipartisan support for both bills in the Senate,” exists, adding, “At this point, I feel reasonably confident that we are going to be able to do something significant for kids on social media this legislative session.”

“Teens move interchangeably between many websites and apps, and different laws in different states will mean teens and their parents have inconsistent experiences online,” a Meta spokesperson declared. “As we continue working with New York lawmakers, it’s crucial that we avoid quick fixes and, instead, support legislation that actually empowers parents and supports teens online.”

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