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As we near the end of Cybersecurity Safety Month, we felt it was important to bring attention to a group that is most vulnerable to online threats: kids. Over the past decade, there have been countless stories of kids and teens suffering mentally and emotionally, and even inflicting harm upon themselves as the result of influences from social media. Most of the time, this is the result of advertising and imagery being shown based on algorithms that decide what a child should be seeing. We are allowing advertising companies, in the form of social media companies, to show our kids material from which they profit, even if the material is potentially harmful to their emotional, mental or physical safety.

This piece of legislation would require social media platforms to protect kids above all else, especially profits…


This piece of legislation would require social media platforms to protect kids above all else, especially profits, by providing a safe online environment where kids are protected from potentially destructive algorithmic harms. These companies would be made to provide more transparency to experts and academics who conduct independent audits on the destructive impacts of social media on kids, and supports public scrutiny to ensure that these platforms are taking meaningful steps to address their risks to kids. The The Kids Online Safety Act would also:

  • Require that social media platforms to provide minors with options to protect their information, disable addictive product features, and opt out of algorithmic recommendations. Platforms would be required to enable the strongest settings by default.
  • Gives parents new controls to help support their children and identify harmful behaviors, and provides parents and children with a dedicated channel to report harms to kids to the platform. 
  • Creates a responsibility for social media platforms to prevent and mitigate harms to minors, such as promotion of self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual exploitation, and unlawful products for minors (e.g. gambling and alcohol).
  • Requires social media platforms to perform an annual independent audit that assesses the risks to minors, their compliance with this legislation, and whether the platform is taking meaningful steps to prevent those harms. 
  • Provides academic and public interest organizations with access to critical datasets from social media platforms to foster research regarding harms to the safety and well-being of minors. 

Please consider filling out this form to show your support for protecting kids online, and to tell our elected officials that, by supporting this piece of legislation, they put the health and safety of our children above the profit of social media companies.

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