Fairplay’s Josh Golin testifies before Congress

We've made huge strides in our work on Capitol Hill.

Last week, Fairplay made huge strides in our work on Capitol Hill: Executive Director Josh Golin testified before Congress for the first time in our organization’s history.

On December 9, Josh appeared as a witness at the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce’s hearing on Big Tech and internet safety. In his testimony and in answers to lawmakers, Josh explained the many harms facing kids and teens on the internet today, how surveillance advertising is especially bad for kids, and how Congress can take action to protect young people. 

Josh’s testimony comes on the heels of the launch of our Designed with Kids in Mind campaign, a multi-pronged effort to create a US design code to ensure that any website, platform, or app likely to be accessed by kids is designed with the wellbeing of children in mind. That means sites like Instagram or TikTok would have to do away with design features like autoplay and surveillance advertising that harm kids.  

During the hearing, Josh emphasized the importance of the KIDS Act and the PRIVCY Act, two bills that would get us closer to a design code for the US. Provisions in the bills include prohibiting platforms from algorithmically amplifying extremist content to children and teens, banning deceptive influencer marketing, and stop surveillance advertising directed at anyone under 18. As Josh told Representative Kathy Castor, “If we could pass both of those bills, we would go so far in creating the internet kids deserve.”

You can read Josh’s written testimony here. Check out the videos below to watch some highlights from Josh’s appearance in Congress!

Opening testimony before the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce

On manipulative design's effects on kids

On the effects of increased screen time for marginalized children

On surveillance advertising and kidfluencers