Jun 23, 2021. CCFC becomes Fairplay and launches sweeping new campaign to protect children online

Leading watchdog will advocate for a design code to protect children and teens.

David Monahan, Fairplay ([email protected])

CCFC becomes Fairplay and launches sweeping new
campaign to protect children online

Leading watchdog will advocate for a design code
to protect children and teens

BOSTON, MA — June 23, 2021 — Today, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the nation’s leading watchdog of the children’s media and marketing industries, announced it is rebranding as Fairplay. The announcement comes as the organization prepares to launch a major campaign for new regulations to protect US children online, similar to the UK’s Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC).

“In the more than 20 years we have advocated for children, childhood has been transformed by smartphones, tablets, and an overwhelming array of apps and games designed to hook kids, monopolize their attention, and mine their personal information for profit,” said Angela Campbell, Professor Emeritus, Georgetown Law, and chair of the Fairplay Board of Directors. “While our advocacy has evolved to match the digital techniques used by corporate marketers, our name hasn’t. As Fairplay, we will demand a new set of rules to protect children from the unfair and harmful manipulations of Big Tech.

Welcome to Fairplay

A major focus for Fairplay will be advocating for regulations against manipulative platform design that puts children at risk and an update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The organization views the AADC, which goes into effect on September 2, as a model for how young people should be protected online. Among the AADC’s core principles are that the best interests of young people must be the primary consideration when designing online services likely to be accessed by children and teens and that young people’s data should never be used in ways that is detrimental to their wellbeing.

Fairplay is organizing a broad coalition of advocates with a wide array of concerns about young people’s online experiences – including sexual exploitation, mental health challenges, exposure to misinformation and age-inappropriate content and excessive screen time – to demand a US design code through a combination of new legislation and Federal Trade Commission rulemakings. The campaign is funded by a generous grant from the Oak Foundation’s Prevent Sexual Abuse Program.

“The impact of child sexual abuse materials is devastating and is unfortunately a huge problem,” said Brigette DeLay, Director of the Oak Foundation’s Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Program. “We are excited to support Fairplay in its work to advocate for regulations to create safe online experiences for children. We encourage others to join us in supporting Fairplay – together we can build a world where children can thrive.”

While we will continue to stand up to any corporation whose marketing practices interfere with children’s healthy development, it’s time to demand more systemic solutions,” said Fairplay’s Executive Director Josh Golin. “With a growing bipartisan consensus that the internet’s business model of intrusive data collection and extended engagement is harmful to children, we have a real opportunity to create the online environment young people deserve.”

Fairplay (formerly Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) is the leading nonprofit organization committed to helping children thrive in an increasingly commercialized, screen-obsessed culture. In addition to advocating for a US design code, Fairplay organizes campaigns against companies whose practices harm children, such as its current campaign to stop Facebook from releasing a kids’ version of Instagram. Fairplay is home to Screen-Free Week and the Children’s Screen Time Action Network, a coalition of practitioners, educators, advocates, and parents working to promote a healthy childhood by reducing the amount of time kids spend with digital devices. www.fairplayforkids.org.