Congress Must Act to Protect Children Online in 2023

Written by PTC | Published February 15, 2023

LOS ANGELES (February 15, 2023) – In light of yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on keeping children safe online, and the findings of the new CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) is calling for Congress to take action to protect children online.

“Congress needs to act on behalf of families to ensure the technology industry has accountability for its products that can be harmful to children. We are glad a hearing was held but there must be action. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens in America. We know that there is growing evidence linking that to children’s increased screen time,” said Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council.

“The burden of protection cannot be placed solely on parents – the challenges are too great. Children are up against social media algorithms that can feed harmful content to children on repeat and against corporate interests that market explicit content to children without repercussions. The technology and entertainment industries must be held accountable for ensuring protection.

“Congress should take up and pass the Kids Online Safety Act, designed to hold social media companies accountable and establish a duty of care for protecting children online, and the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act expands privacy protections to teens and for children under age 13, among other potential solutions. The time to act is now,” Henson said.

In November 2022, the PTC revealed that Hollywood is marketing teen-targeted TV shows with explicit adult content to young teens through social media sites popular with 13-17-year-olds, thereby doing an end-run around parents.

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