As kids spend more time online, they’re at risk from the dangers of social media: algorithms that automatically display harmful or toxic content, online predators, stalkers, sexual harassment, revenge porn, unethical and illegal business practices, and more. There are so few protections in place to help keep the internet safe for young people, even as story, after story, after story points to the dangers of the wild, wild web.
Youth spending more than three hours a day on social media are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety. Prolonged use of social media negatively impacts body image and sleep patterns amongst young people. And earlier this year, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory that social media is not sufficiently safe for children and adolescents.
Social media can be just as harmful and addictive as tobacco, and it's crucial that we implement safeguards to shield our youth from big tech companies who circumvent sensible regulations designed to protect their youngest users. That's why I've introduced two pieces of legislation that will put a stop to predatory algorithmic feeds and stop big tech from profiting of our kids' data.
The STOP ADDICTIVE FEEDS EXPLOITATION for KIDS ACT (SAFE for Kids Act) will require social media companies to restrict the addictive features on their platforms that most harm young users:
Ban social media platforms from offering addictive feeds to any persons under 18 without parental consent. Instead, users will receive a chronological feed of the users that they already follow, or feeds of generally popular content, and may search for specific topics of interest — the same way that social media feeds functioned before the advent of addictive feeds.
Prohibit social media platforms from sending notifications to minors from 12AM and 6AM without verifiable parental consent.
Allow users and parents to opt out of minors accessing social media platforms between the hours of 12AM and 6AM.
The CHILD DATA PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT will prohibit all online sites from collecting, using, sharing, or selling personal data of anyone under the age of 18 for the purposes of advertising, unless they receive informed consent or unless doing so is strictly necessary for the purpose of the website.
It is our responsibility to enact strong regulations that protect children's privacy and mental health on the internet, just like we have successfully done with tobacco, alcohol, automobiles, and more.
I’m prepared to do everything I can to fight for our kids’ safety online, but I know Big Tech is gearing up to fight back. It’s going to take all of us fighting together to overcome their power and influence. If you support keeping our kids safe online, please sign this petition.