NYC Parents to Lawmakers: Don't Fall for Big Tech's Lies, Protect Our Kids Online

Grieving and concerned New York City parents urge state lawmakers to pass the SAFE for Kids Act before legislative session concludes in early June

NEW YORK, NY (05/18/2024) (readMedia)-- On Sunday, NYC parents, teens, and advocates will hold a press conference urging state lawmakers to pass common sense regulations designed to make social media safer for kids before the end of this year's legislative session. Parents and advocates, including Common Sense Media and Mothers Against Media Addiction, are supporting the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation for Kids Act (SAFE For Kids Act) and the New York Child Data Protection Act and demanding accountability from Big Tech companies, notorious for maximizing their profits at the expense of young users.

In 2023, Norma Nazario of Manhattan lost her 15 year old son Zackery to subway surfing after social media platforms, like Tik Tok and Instagram, popularized the dangerous activity. Since last year, the MTA has recorded at least five more suspected subway surfing deaths, all teens younger than 17 years old. To prevent the loss of other impressionable children on social media, Norma is advocating for the passage of the SAFE for Kids Act to protect other children and teens from addictive algorithms that too often bombard young users with harmful content that keeps them scrolling online.


Parents in New York, and across the country, are noticing an immediate hit to their childrens' mental health once they begin using social media, and countless studies confirm the correlation between prolonged use of social media and mental health issues. According to recent research, youth who spend more than three hours a day on social media (the average for overall Internet use is almost nine hours a day, not including time for homework) double their risk for depression and anxiety. But according to a recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok collectively generated just short of $11 billion in ad revenue from users under 18 during 2022. The study underscores the significant financial incentive social media platforms have to keep teens online for long periods of time.

Despite endless studies showing the increased rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm among children and teens online, social media companies like Meta have only invested in tools to keep them online for longer. Parents are urging lawmakers to pass two pieces of legislation before the end of legislative session, to protect users under 18 from addictive algorithms and data collection.

Click here for more information on the legislation to keep kids safe online.


New York parents Norma Nazario and Bernice Tsai, actor and advocate Alysia Reiner, Common Sense Media, Mothers Against Media Addiction, lawmakers, and more.


Press conference featuring New York City parents, teens and advocates in support of the SAFE for Kids Act and the New York Child Data Protection Act.

WHEN: Sunday May 19, 2024 at 11:00AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
WHERE: City Hall Park
Manhattan, New York