Press releases

Issue One applauds bipartisan KOSA introduction in the House and calls on Congress to pass kids online safety protections into law

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

Today, Issue One applauded the introduction of the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) in the House of Representatives, led by Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Erin Houchin (R-IN), and Kim Schrier (D-WA). The bill is a companion to the Senate version of KOSA which currently has 67 cosponsors and is supported by nearly 90% of U.S. voters.

“More than two months have passed since Mark Zuckerberg was forced to apologize to a room full of parents during a Senate Judiciary hearing on the harms facing kids online, and families are still waiting for Congress to enact responsible social media safeguards that will protect kids from harmful and manipulative content,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “We cannot wait any longer. Our kids are suffering while social media companies continue to put profits ahead of their safety, and no amount of empty apologies will change that. KOSA has earned overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate, and with a companion introduced in the House, there’s no reason why our elected leaders can’t finish the job and put this critically important bill up for a vote. We must get this done now.”

KOSA directly addresses the harmful social media business model by placing the health and well-being of minor users over advertising revenue. In February, lead sponsors Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced new changes strengthening the Senate version of the bill following a Senate Judiciary hearing where senators pressed CEOs from five major social media companies — Meta, TikTok, X, Snap, and Discord — about their platforms’ efforts to protect children from exploitation online. Those improvements are reflected in the House companion bill.

Council for Responsible Social Media (CRSM) Co-chair and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) added: “Passing KOSA into law will bring desperately needed accountability to a tech industry that for far too long has been harming and killing our children. The House and Senate must now work together to swiftly get this historic bill across the finish line. We don’t need another hearing, we need action. Congress: Pass KOSA now.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee also announced a markup of the bill scheduled for next Wednesday, April 17. KOSA will be considered alongside an update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the comprehensive American Privacy Rights Act.

Earlier this year, Issue One released new research underscoring how the top social media platforms — Meta, ByteDance, X, Snap, and Discord — have ramped up their lobbying efforts as federal lawmakers take aim at their products which prioritize profits before kids’ online safety. According to our findings, these social media giants combined to spend a staggering $30 million on lobbying in 2023 — an increase of 12% from what these five companies collectively spent on lobbying in 2022.