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The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)

Recently, a new law called the "kids online and safety act" was passed. This new law focuses on social media and the harms that it can bring to children. Let's dive into what this new law entails.

Kids Online Safety Act

The overall purpose of this law is to ensure that social media platforms are bringing child protection to the forefront of their services and applications. This new law will require social media platforms to always start with the most powerful privacy settings for all children and minors as a default. They are also required to perform annual audits to ensure they are doing everything in their power to mitigate the risk for minors on their services. This law moves to empower parents and guardians all over the country by giving them more control and power over what their children can see on social media platforms as well as providing more secure and healthy places for children while on the internet. The new law has been endorsed by many respective groups such as the "Common Sense Media, the American Psychological Association, the 5Rights Foundation, American Compass, the Internet Accountability Project, American Principles Project, and the Digital Progress Institute..." (Kids Online Safety Act). The most important aspect of this law is that it allows many organizations and researchers access to specific datasets that will help them to identify and determine harmful social media to children on these platforms and reduce these risks permanently.

The law means to reduce the current teen mental health crisis in America. It states that the mental health crisis is being fueled by social media use as more and more of our daily lives are absorbed by internet use. The law says that "Social media can foster body image issues, create addiction-like patterns of use, promote products that are harmful or illegal for young audiences, and fuel destructive bullying..." (Kids Online Safety Act). It is imperative that parents, teachers, and guardians are all aware of the current teen mental health crisis and find ways to protect their children. Every day more children are harmed by internet use. This harm comes in many different forms such as hackers, scams, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and more. Although this law is a major win for parents all around we still need to make sure that we do not let our guard down. The internet can be a great place for learning and innovation, but in the wrong hands and harmful mindsets it can be devastating to children. Please take the time to read up on the Kids Online Safety Act and get to know the social media your child uses.

Check out the PDF below for a one page overview of the Kids Online Safety Act introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Marsha Blackburn and check the other link from for the full overview.

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