New Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Kids on Social Media Introduced

The Kids Online Safety Act, new bipartisan legislation, introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R), its intent is to help stop the potentially dangerous impacts of social media on children. It would target how social media platforms handle content on issues like eating disorders, suicide, and substance abuse.

Sen. Blumenthal stated that “Big Teach has brazenly failed children and betrayed its trust, putting profits above safety.”

The legislation would create specific responsibilities that social media platforms must comply with to protect children from sexual exploitation and the promotion of things like alcohol or gambling in addition to “rabbit holes of dangerous material.” All of this according to a fact sheet released by lawmakers.

The new bill would require that settings for families that would help parents protect children from harmful content. It would give parents tools to control children’s online purchases and help curb app addiction. These settings would have to be enabled by default.

The new legislation would also require social media platforms to release annual third-party audits on the risk level of their platform to minors. It would also oblige platforms to release their data to independent researchers or academics so they can study the impacts of the platforms on young people.