Social Media Harms
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Social Media Harms

Social Media Harms

Kids Online Safety Act of 2022 (KOSA) Week, May 23–27, 2022

Call or Write Your U. S. Senators This Week to Urge the Senate Commerce Committee to Advance this Legislation by the End of May 2022

Photo by Oliver Hale on Unsplash

Not for profit organizations Avaaz, Parents Together and Fairplay’s Screentime Action Network are promoting a campaign to advocate for the United States Senate Commerce Committee to advance the Kids Online Safety Act to be considered by the full Senate by the end of May 2022.

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Kids Online Safety Act of 2022 (KOSA) on February 16, 2022. This bi-partisan bill is now cosponsored by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Senator Shelly Caputo (R-WV), Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).

KOSA creates a legal obligation requiring technology companies to operate in the best interests of minors 16 and under who use their services. This legislation includes provisions that:

  1. Empower the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and states Attorneys General to fine technology companies that do not follow regulations that protect users 16 and under from social media harms, especially around depression, suicide, and eating disorders;

2. Provide parents and youth tools and safeguards to protect a young user’s experience on social media.

3. Allow scientists access to social media company data to conduct research in the public interest.

With mid-term elections coming up, now is the time to for our elected officials to demonstrate their commitment to protecting children and teens by enacting this important legislation.

Please contact your Senators and ask them to support the Kids Online Safety Act.

A sample action alert message for Senators who are members of the Senate Commerce Committee is below:

Constituent Request: Please Act Now to Advance the Kids Online Safety Act (S.3663)

Dear [elected official],

I am an [Insert Organization Name] advocate and your constituent.

I am writing to request that you act now to advance the Kids Online Safety Act (S.3663) out of the Senate Commerce Committee by the end of May.

This legislation will:

Hold big tech accountable through audits and fine to protect users 16 years and younger from social media harms, especially around depression, suicide, and eating disorders.

Provide parents and youth tools and safeguards to protect a young user’s experience on social media.

Allow scientists access to social media company data to conduct research in the public interest.

Social media companies knowingly promote algorithms that boost harmful mental health content for increased engagement and profits. This increases the risk of depression, self-harm, and eating disorders.

It is time for social media companies to be held accountable for the harms to youth caused by their platforms.

Please protect the nation’s youth by advancing the Kids Online Safety Act.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this urgent request.

Sincerely,

[Name], [Address], [Email]

A sample action alert message for Senators NOT on the Senate Commerce Committee:

Constituent Request: Please Act Now to Urge Senate Commerce to Advance the Kids Online Safety Act (S.3663)!

Dear [elected official],

I am an [Insert Organization Name] advocate and your constituent.

I am writing to request that you act now to urge the Senate Commerce Committee to advance the Kids Online Safety Act (S.3663) out of committee by the end of May.

This legislation will:

  1. Hold big tech accountable through audits and fine to protect users under 18 from social media harms, especially around depression, suicide, and eating disorders.
  2. Provide parents and youth tools and safeguards to protect a young user’s experience on social media.
  3. Allow scientists access to social media company data to conduct research in the public interest.

Social media companies knowingly promote algorithms that boost harmful mental health content for increased engagement and profits. This increases the risk of depression, self-harm, and eating disorders.

It is time social media companies are held accountable for the harms to youth caused by their platforms!

Please protect the nation’s youth by helping to push the Kids Online Safety Act forward.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this urgent request.

Sincerely,

[Name], [Address], [Email]

Social Media Harms provides a listing of peer-reviewed studies, scholarly books, and articles from authoritative sources that document the negative effects of social media use. The site also lists links to organizations dedicated to reducing the harms created by social media platforms and other online services. We do not solicit donations, however, we are asking for additions to our lists of peer reviewed studies and authoritative books and articles.

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