Context Check: KOSA and Other Online Age-Appropriate Design Codes - Safety or Censorship?

Policy Critics

A bill before Congress would help the far right advance its ideological war—but Democrats apparently haven’t noticed or don’t care.

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Despite never addressing this central problem, some members of Congress are convinced that a new change will avoid censoring the internet: KOSA’s liability is now theoretically triggered only for content that is recommended to users under 18, rather than content that they specifically search for. But that’s still censorship—and it fundamentally misunderstands how search works online.


We've all watched in horror as red states have banned books in schools and libraries. We've seen teachers fired merely for reading a book about gender...


KOSA is fundamentally a censorship bill. Politicians are justifying it by harping on something we all know—that there’s content online that’s inappropriate for kids. But instead of letting tricky questions about what online content is appropriate at what age be decided by parents and families, politicians are stepping in to override us.


Archive of Our Own (AO3), a fanfic site loved by young LGBTQ+ people, was compromised by hackers. But the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) is the real threat.

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You search for “Gay Pride” and “Pride Parade,” then get videos over days, weeks, even months telling you gay is bad, and you are going to hell,You search for “Gay Pride” and “Pride Parade,” then get videos over days, weeks, even months telling you gay is bad, and you are going to hell


Members of the Don’t Delete Art movement and anti-censorship groups are asking creatives to speak out against bills they say would increase web surveillance and censor marginalized artists.


The Kids Online Safety Act is “a blank check” for Republican AGs to "intimidate any way they can," a digital civil liberties advocate told Jezebel.

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Tech Critics

At this point, any Senator signing on to support KOSA cannot deny that the bill has been written explicitly to suppress LGBTQ+ voices. The Heritage Foundation said so directly earlier this year. An…


We’ve talked a lot about KOSA, the “Kids Online Safety Act” that has massive bipartisan support in Congress. The latest version was introduced with 26 Senators as sponsors or co-sponsors. We’ve exp…


The poorly drafted “Kids Online Safety Act” would make kids less safe, and would be weaponized to attack LGBTQ+ people and abortion rights Over 90 organizations have signed on to a letter led by the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and Fight for the Future opposing the Kids Online Safety […]


Transphobia in the Bill

What looks to some like a rare form of bipartisan agreement to rein in Big Tech is also a method of scrambling actual accountability—with a broad, dangerous “save the children” crusade.

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Please listen to us. Our kids' lives are at stake.


"There's this giant censorship machine that also is privacy invasive."


It still amazes me that KOSA has any Democratic co-sponsors, let alone 21 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate led by lead Democratic sponsor (and embracer of any bill that will undermine the inter…


Young People Speaking for Themselves

Youth advocates are a powerful new lobbying force in the debate over children’s online safety in the U.S.

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Design It For Us issued the following statement after Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s remarks from March of this year surfaced.



Fairplay statement regarding the Kids Online Safety Act and its impact on LGBTQ+ youth


Common Sense Media helps kids thrive in a world of media and technology through ratings, reviews, and information. Find our press releases here.


At work, I track social media’s harms to our body politic. When my daughter developed anorexia, I realized the harm had infiltrated my home.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the Kids Online Safety Act, comprehensive bipartisan legislation to protect children online and hold Big Tech accountable.


"Parents have plenty to worry about kids online in addition to early exposure to pornography. All manner of online content can impact a child's life," writes Patrick T. Brown, highlighting how important is to pass the Kids Online Safety Act.

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Policy Process

As Congress and President Joe Biden have made clear kids online protections are a key priority, KOSA has become one of the leading bills on the subject.

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“A clear point in all of these proposals is that they’re specifically going after marketing and advertising,” Anthony Prestia, former senior counsel for Snap and head of privacy at TerraTrue, told Marketing Brew.


Advocates say the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) will be weaponized to censor LGBTQ content.



The strange history of a persistent myth.

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