David Monahan, Fairplay [email protected]
Fairplay’s Josh Golin to Testify at Senate Judiciary Hearing Tuesday
on Protecting Children Online
Kristin Bride, who lost son after cyberbullying, and youth advocate Emma Lembke will also testify on the urgent need to protect kids and teens on social media
BOSTON – Friday, February 10, 2023 – Josh Golin, executive director of the non-profit advocacy organization Fairplay, will testify next Tuesday, February 14th at 10am, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Protecting Our Children Online. The hearing will examine the ways that social media poses a threat to children and teens, including child exploitation, cyberbullying and abuse, exposure to dangerous drugs and to dangerous content like pro-anorexia materials, and the collection of kids’ sensitive data.
Golin is expected to testify that the myriad online harms facing young people online today are all linked to Big Tech’s ad-driven business model and their deliberate design choices that prioritize engagement over young people’s interests. Parents and young people want help, Golin will say, and Congress needs to act to hold companies accountable to create a safer online environment for kids and teens.
“When Facebook launched in 2006, the only law protecting kids online was already 8 years old. Since then, Congress has failed to enact any meaningful protections for young people on the internet, all while Big Tech competed in a race to the bottom to monopolize children’s attention. The results of 25 years of inaction have been devastating. Congress must act now to create the internet American kids and families deserve,” said Golin ahead of his testimony.
Fairplay is the leading nonprofit organization committed to helping children thrive in an increasingly commercialized, screen-obsessed culture, and the only organization dedicated to ending marketing to children.
Among the other witnesses at the hearing will be:
Kristin Bride, a mother and a social media reform advocate. In 2020, Kristin lost her son Carson to suicide and later discovered that he had been viciously cyberbullied through anonymous social media platforms. Out of this tragedy, Kristin has forged a mission to hold social media platforms accountable for the ways that their products are designed to addict and exploit children, rather than nurture them. She has spoken about this mission on The Lead with Jake Tapper; and
Emma Lembke, the founder of LOG OFF, a youth movement that seeks to tackle the challenges of social media and its impact on younger generations. A 20-year-old who has grown up with social media as a constant fixture in her life, Emma works to raise awareness about the mental and physical health impacts of social media, especially on young women. She has discussed this work on 60 Minutes.
Josh, Kristin, and Emma are all members of the Council for Responsible Social Media, which unites policymakers, impacted communities, and key stakeholders to find solutions to ways that social media platforms threaten our kids, communities, and national security. The Council is a bipartisan and diverse coalition that includes Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, former Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, best-selling author and professor Jonathan Haidt, former Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Maria Ressa.
Fairplay can help to connect press and media with Josh, Kristin, and Emma.