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Children’s Health and Development

Calling for increased protections for children on social media

APA Services calls on Senate Commerce Committee leaders to move the Kids Online Safety Act forward.
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American Psychological Association. (2022, June 27). Calling for increased protections for children on social media.

teenage boy looking on his phone in a classroom

On June 14, APA Services sent a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS). The letter was supported by 110 organizations representing mental health, children, and those impacted by eating disorders and represents the next step in our efforts to secure increased protections for children and adolescents using social media.

As the letter documents, the harms of social media on young people are broadly documented and although there is also evidence that social media has some positive impacts, it is important for lawmakers to act on this issue. “The enormity of the youth mental health crisis needs to be addressed as the very real harms of social media are impacting our children today,” the letter states as it called on the Committee to move the bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) toward a vote.

Under the KOSA legislation, social media companies would have to provide parents and kids with new safeguards and protections and open algorithms for research. The legislation would also create a duty for social media platforms to prevent and mitigate harms to minors. These provisions would be helpful in curtailing current harms and allowing us to learn more in the future about other positive and negative impacts of social media.

KOSA was introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Read a full summary of the legislation.

For more information, contact Corbin Evans.