[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In case you missed it, this week, advocacy groups sent letters to Members of Congress advocating for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) in a year-end push to pass the legislation. KOSA, led in the Senate by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, would provide kids and parents with online safeguards and ensure Big Tech accountability.
On Monday, a coalition of more than 230 groups sent a letter to House and Senate leadership, calling for the inclusion of KOSA in an end-of-year legislative package.
“Through your leadership, you both have the power to contribute to tackling this growing issue through advancing the Kids Online Safety Act and strong privacy protections for kids and teens online, as the wellbeing of future generations depend on it,” the groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and Fairplay, wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The full text of the groups’ letter is available here.
On Tuesday, a group of more than 130 teens and young adults, along with a coalition of advocacy groups representing young people, sent a letter to Members of Congress to urge passage of KOSA before the end of this Congress. The letter also appeared as an advertisement in the New York Times.
“KOSA will help protect young and vulnerable online users from many of the psychological dangers engineered into social media and other internet platforms,” wrote the young people. “Legislation like this is particularly important because Big Tech companies have made clear that they will put profit before young people’s wellbeing.”
The full text of the letter is available here.
The groups’ letters come after multiple visits from grieving parents and young people to Washington, D.C. in recent weeks to meet with lawmakers about social media harms and encourage Congress to pass KOSA this year.
The introduction of KOSA earlier this year followed reporting and a series of subcommittee hearings spearheaded by Blumenthal and Blackburn with social media companies and advocates on the repeated failures by tech giants to protect kids on their platforms and about the dangers kids face online. KOSA awaits Senate Floor action after it passed the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously in July. More information on the legislation can be found here.