Press releases

Issue One applauds growing momentum for KOSA, urges Congress to act swiftly and pass responsible safeguards into law

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

This morning, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), lead sponsors of the bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), released new changes strengthening the bill and announced that a total of 62 senators are now cosponsoring the legislation. KOSA would directly address the harmful social media business model by placing the health and well-being of minor users over advertising revenue. In response, Issue One and its Council for Responsible Social Media (CRSM) released the following statements:

“For years, social media companies have put profits ahead of kids’ safety, but change is coming,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “KOSA has earned overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate, and Americans across the political spectrum are demanding our leaders take action. It’s time to finish the job and put this critically important bill up for a vote. KOSA will not only make the internet a safer place for young people, it will also form the bedrock for a healthier democracy.”

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 our children. We applaud the Senate for working in a fiercely bipartisan way to strengthen KOSA and put the safety of kids and teens first. This is a crucial step that will finally bring responsible safeguards to social media platforms who have specialized in keeping children addicted so they can make more money and lobby against bipartisan proposals, like KOSA, that will protect kids from harmful and manipulative content.”

“Last month, we saw CEOs from social media giants testify before Congress in a room full of parents and young people who came to Washington with a simple and resounding message: stop exploiting us and start putting our safety and well-being first,” said CRSM Co-chair and former Lt. Gov of Massachusetts Kerry Healey (R). “Today, KOSA is one step closer to becoming law and creating a safer online environment for kids. The time for action is now, and we look forward to KOSA becoming the law of the land.”

Prior to last month’s tech CEO hearing, 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.

An earlier poll released by Issue One and Fairplay also found overwhelming public support for KOSA, with nearly 9 in 10 voters expressing support for the bipartisan legislation.