“Social media endangered my son”
Big Tech is a destructive force that continues to abuse its power to manipulate, harm, and exploit our children for profit. They do this while refusing to publicly acknowledge how their platforms endanger children’s mental health and well-being. They are ignoring the parents who are raising the alarm.
- Bridgette: “The image of my handsome 19-year-old son’s lifeless body is one we all have permanently embedded in our minds… My heart is beyond broken. Devin was a bright, funny, and extremely intelligent young man. He loved playing football, riding his bike – pushing his body to the limits going off jumps and bar spins… He was deceived to death by the drug dealers in my city that Snapchat still to this day harbors on their platform.
- Joanna: “Ashley*” is a young high school woman who watches my girls. She has a bright, positive personality and sets a wonderful example for my four daughters of hard work, kindness, and standing for your convictions. She’s a cheerleader and does well academically, yet when she was in 7th grade, she was repeatedly bullied online for simply voicing her beliefs. Girls from her school commented on multiple social media posts, “Cancel Ashley.”
- Joann: “Our youngest son, Mason, was beautiful, intelligent, selfless, and generous. Mason didn’t spend much time on social media, but he did watch a lot of how-to videos on YouTube… In May of 2019, Mason died at the young age of 15… He was playing an online challenge called ‘the Choking Game.’
CLICK HERE to read their complete stories and more.
According to recent research, 46% of all U.S. teens say they use the internet “almost constantly,” and 97% say they use the internet daily. This is having an alarming impact on their mental health. It’s exposing them to more illegal drugs and harmful content. Big Tech needs to acknowledge these harms, do more to protect children on their platforms, and be completely transparent so parents can make informed decisions.
House Republicans’ Big Tech Task Force, led by Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), is shedding new light on Big Tech’s harms and is unveiling several proposals to equip parents and protect children from these companies, including:
- Equipping parents with tools necessary to ensure their kids are safe online, such as the ability to monitor their use of social media, put time limits on such use, and be notified if their child is engaged in certain activity, without enabling Big Tech to collect and share more of their information
- Ensuring parents can request and certify all information about their child collected by Big Tech be deleted
- Limiting what data Big Tech can collect, share, and use about children by restricting their handling of information with penalties
- Raising the age of children covered under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
- Requiring Big Tech to have a user-friendly process that allows parents to reach out for help if their child is experiencing cyberbullying
- Reforming section 230 to allow parents to hold Big Tech accountable when they knowingly facilitate illegal activity, such as illegal drug sales and child trafficking and exploitation
- Supporting policies to protect our youth from adult online content
- Including warning labels for certain Big Tech products and services as it relates to certain risks and harms of using such products and services
CLICK HERE to read more about how House Republicans will protect kids and empower parents.