Censorship won’t make kids safe
Lawmakers are trying to pass the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), a dangerous censorship bill that would give the government unprecedented control over the internet and force platforms to spy on youth.
KOSA uses two methods to “protect” kids, and both of them are awful. First, KOSA would pressure platforms to install filters that would wipe the net of anything deemed “inappropriate” for minors. This = instructing platforms to censor, plain and simple. Places that already use content filters have restricted important information about suicide prevention and LGBTQ+ support groups, and KOSA would spread this kind of censorship to every corner of the internet. It’s no surprise that anti-rights zealots are excited about KOSA: it would let them shut down websites that cover topics like race, gender, and sexuality.
Second, KOSA would ramp up the online surveillance of all internet users by requiring that platforms use age verification and parental monitoring tools. Not only are these tools needlessly invasive, they’re a massive safety risk for young people who could be trying to escape domestic violence and abuse.
90+ rights groups agree KOSA won’t make kids more safe. Instead, it’ll put youth in danger by subjecting them to surveillance and preventing them from accessing resources they need. Lawmakers concerned about kids’ online safety should reject KOSA and instead work to protect all internet users from abusive data collection and monitoring through a strong Federal data privacy law.
From: [Your Name]
I’m writing to urge you to reject the Kids Online Safety Act, a misguided bill that would put vulnerable young people at risk.
KOSA would fail to address the root issues related to kid’s safety online. Instead, it would endanger some of the most vulnerable people in our society while undermining human rights and children’s privacy. The bill would result in widespread internet censorship by pressuring platforms to use incredibly broad “content filters” and giving state Attorneys General the power to decide what content kids should and shouldn’t have access to online. This power could be abused in a number of ways and be politicized to censor information and resources.
KOSA would also likely lead to the greater surveillance of children online by requiring platforms to gather data to verify user identity.
There is a way to protect kids and all people online from egregious data abuse and harmful content targeting: passing a strong Federal data privacy law that prevents tech companies from collecting so much sensitive data about all of us in the first place, and gives individuals the ability to sue companies that misuse their data.
KOSA, although well-meaning, must not move forward. Please protect privacy and stop the spread of censorship online by opposing KOSA.