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Hundreds of parent advocates have taken a stand, urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to advance the Kids Online Safety Act.
In an open letter in the Wall Street Journal, families impacted by tragedies linked to social media emphasized the dire consequences of inaction, stating, “Our children have died from social media harms.” The advocates, including those who have lost children to suicide influenced by online experiences such as cyberbullying and exposure to harmful content, stress the necessity for legislative action. They argue that without congressional action, platforms will not implement significant changes to protect young users.
The proposed bipartisan legislation, led by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn, seeks to mandate social media companies to provide safer online environments for minors. This includes limiting harmful content and features that contribute to risks of suicide, eating disorders, and self-harm. Despite broad bipartisan support and nearly half the Senate’s sponsorship, the bill awaits a floor vote, with ongoing discussions to address concerns and unintended consequences related to content on sexuality, gender identity, and health.
In response to the hearing and the mounting call for action, a spokesperson for Schumer affirmed children’s online safety as a priority, promising continued efforts to secure the necessary support for the bill’s passage.