January 29, 2024. Parents who have lost children due to online harms launch new education initiative in support of the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)

Monday, January 29, 2024

Jaime Horn, JLH Strategies
202 308 8810
[email protected]


Parents for Safe Online Spaces (ParentsSOS) aims to help pass legislation to enact safeguards on social media

(WASHINGTON, D.C., January 29, 2024) — Today, Fairplay and The David’s Legacy Foundation announced the creation of Parents for Safe Online Spaces (ParentsSOS), an educational initiative created by families who have lost children as a result of online harms. The initiative’s goal is to raise awareness about the importance of the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), a piece of legislation addressing growing concern about the impact of online and social media platforms on children and teens.

“My son David died by suicide eight years ago after he was continuously cyberbullied through Instagram and GroupMe. No other family should feel this pain, which is why we created this initiative: to show lawmakers how essential it is that they act,” said Maurine Molak, co-founder of The David’s Legacy Foundation. “I advocate for KOSA in David’s honor because the stakes simply could not be any higher. KOSA will impose a duty of care on social media companies to design and operate their platforms with the highest safeguards to prevent and mitigate online harms to minors and prevent tragedy from happening to another family. KOSA will, quite literally, save lives.”

David’s Legacy Foundation and Fairplay are among the leading advocacy groups supporting KOSA, which was initially introduced in February 2022 by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). The bill was reintroduced in May 2023 after revision and has garnered widespread support from individuals and over 200 organizations, and bipartisan endorsement from senators.

“KOSA is a needed corrective to social media platforms’ toxic business model, which relies on maximizing engagement by any means necessary, including sending kids down deadly rabbit holes and implementing features that make young people vulnerable to exploitation and abuse,” said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay. “The parents who comprise this educational initiative understand that better than anyone, and they are sharing their children’s stories in hopes of creating change to ensure other families do not have to go through what they did.” 

The ParentsSOS website serves as a memorial to the children who lost their lives to online harms, including suicide as a result of relentless cyberbullying or sextortion; accidental death attempting viral challenges; and purchasing lethal drugs over social media:: Alexander Neville, 14; Alex Peiser, 17; Annalee Schott, 18; Becca Schmill, 18; Carson Bride, 16; Coco Konar, 17; David Molak, 16; Devin Norring, 19; Emily Michaela Murillo, 17; Erik Robinson, 12; Ethan Burke Van Lith, 13; Grace McComas, 15; Griffin McGrath, 13; Jack Servi, 16; Mason Bogard, 15; Mason James Edens, 16; Matthew E. Minor, 12; Riley Basford, 15; and Walker Montgomery, 16.

ParentsSOS will also house educational resources for the public to learn about current legislative action. The initiative can be found on X as @Parents4SOS, on Facebook as Parents for Safe Online Spaces, and online at https://www.parentssos.org/.

Many of the families involved with ParentsSOS will attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on January 31, where CEOs representing Meta, X, TikTok, Discord, and Snap will testify on their platforms’ failure to protect children online.


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. Fairplay incorporates knowledge from experts and parents to promote best practices for parents and advocate for legislation. For more information visit https://fairplayforkids.org/.

David’s Legacy Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate cyber and other bullying, of children and teens, through education, legislation, and legal action. The foundation provides support for bullying victims, promotes kindness, and supports legislation that prohibits the cyberbullying of minors. For more information, visit www.davidslegacy.org.