Protect Kids Online the Right Way

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Posted: Sep 24, 2022 12:01 AM

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The last several years have seen a tectonic shift in the way consumers, the media and policymakers think about the internet. In short, there is increasing pressure for lawmakers to do something to address the myriad harms that have long festered online. One effort marching through congress is Senators Blumenthal’s (D-CT) and Blackburn’s (R-TN) Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) which was recently marked up by the Senate Commerce Committee. According to a one-pager on Sen. Blumenthal’s website, KOSA is motivated by harms to children on social media sites filled with user-generated content (like Facebook and YouTube) including self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, and sexual exploitation.

But in typical government fashion, the bill’s remedies include a laundry list of new regulations, technology mandates, Washington D.C. commissions, and an expansion of unelected, bureaucratic authority that sweep far beyond the concerns motivating the legislation and lead one to question whether the goal was ever really to help children to begin

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