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Kids Online Safety Act Not So Safe

By Charlotte Robinson, July 28, 2023

A new version of KOSA (Kids Online Safety Act) was introduced by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) & Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) that actually makes the bill worse, not better. KOSA has always been a bill that makes kids less safe not more safe by empowering rightwing attorneys general to cut kids off from lifesaving information & online. In the Blackburn substitute the section that was already too weak to prevent the bill from being weaponized against LGBTQ content has been weakened further. Her version of KOSA still allows state attorneys general to dictate what content can be seen by younger users & this would be a disaster for LGBTQ rights, abortion rights, education rights & free expression. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) & Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) brought up concerns about KOSA’s threat to LGBTQ online communities. Their remarks echoed problems that LGBTQ, civil rights & digital rights advocates have been raising since KOSA was first introduced. Senator Markey stated, “I would like to say that over the past few months I’ve heard concerns from my constituents & civil rights groups about the Kids Online Safety Act & its potential impact on LGBTQ youth & other online communities. I commend the authors for their work on the bill, but I want to continue to work to modify the bill to help fix the concerns that the LGBTQ community has been raising. More work needs to be done.” Senator Cantwell Concluded, “I’ve heard some advocates, particularly in the LGBT community, about continuing concerns with this legislation. We will continue to work with them on this.” 

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