KOSA will provide a safer online environment for children

Posted on February 27, 2024 in Press releases.

girl sitting on chair looking at tablet - KOSA

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has expressed its support for the U.S. Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA).

Imran Ahmed, CEO and founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said:

“Children and young people are in the grip of an unprecedented mental health crisis because of social media platforms that, as our research has shown, are addictive by design and lack guardrails to restrict content that can result in depression, anxiety, eating disorders and poorer mental health.

“KOSA would impose a strong standard on social media companies, demanding a duty of care to young users and ensuring platforms are safe by design – while instituting the strongest privacy protections possible.

“The bill would help to create a safer online environment for our children by stemming the tide of hateful and malignant content that kids are exposed to in our chaotic online world, in which predators, abusers and cynical propagandists abound.”

The Center said that under the renewed enforcement mechanism, the potential for abuse by states to weaponize the duty of care standard against members of the LGBTQ+ community is much reduced.

KOSA will protect LGBTQ+ children from being exposed to harmful and hateful online messaging and give them the option to control the recommendation systems that are feeding toxic content.

However, the bill falls short on granting real transparency.

The current mechanism for researcher access is severely limited and cuts civil society organizations, journalists, and many academics out of the equation. Previous versions of the bill outlined comprehensive access for independent researchers. Excluding large swaths of independent researchers weakens the benefits of KOSA by limiting public accountability and transparency.