Debate continues to rage over the federal Children On-line Security Act (KOSA), which seeks to carry platforms accountable for feeding dangerous content material to minors. KOSA is lawmakers’ reply to whistleblower Frances Haugen’s surprising revelations to Congress. In 2021, Haugen leaked paperwork and supplied testimony alleging that Fb knew that its platform was addictive and was harming teenagers—however blinded by its pursuit of earnings, it selected to disregard the harms.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who sponsored KOSA, was among the many lawmakers surprised by Haugen’s testimony. He stated in 2021 that Haugen had confirmed that “Fb exploited teenagers utilizing highly effective algorithms that amplified their insecurities.” Haugen’s testimony, Blumenthal claimed, supplied “highly effective proof that Fb knew its merchandise had been harming youngsters.”
However when Blumenthal launched KOSA final yr, the invoice confronted rapid and big blowback from greater than 90 organizations—together with tech teams, digital rights advocates, authorized consultants, little one security organizations, and civil rights teams. These critics warned lawmakers of KOSA’s many flaws, however they had been most involved that the invoice imposed a obscure “obligation of care” on platforms that was “successfully an instruction to make use of broad content material filtering to restrict minors’ entry to sure on-line content material.” The concern was that the obligation of care provision would probably lead platforms to over-moderate and imprecisely filter content material deemed controversial—issues like data on LGBTQ+ points, drug habit, consuming issues, psychological well being points, or escape from abusive conditions.
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