Read at www.nytimes.com
The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) proposes measures to safeguard children and teenagers from various online harms, including bullying, exploitation, and predatory marketing. It also requires online services to activate the highest privacy and safety settings by default for users under 18 and allows users to opt out of certain features to prevent compulsive app use. KOSA has received support from senators, children's groups, medical associations, and Snap.
It would require online services like social media networks, video game sites and messaging apps to take reasonable measures to prevent harm - including online bullying, harassment, sexual exploitation, anorexia, self-harm and predatory marketing - to minors who used their platforms.
However, the bill has encountered opposition from civil rights groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who argue that the bill's broad and vague definition of harm could potentially lead to censorship of content on politically sensitive issues. They raise concerns about free speech and the potential for social media and other apps to censor discussions on reproductive health and gender identity.
Civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have opposed it on free speech grounds. In particular, the groups say the bill's definition of harm is so broad and so vague that it could lead social media and other apps to censor content on politically polarizing issues like reproductive health or gender identity.