Parents Television and Media Council Calls on Congress to Stem Big Tech’s Tidal Wave of Harm Towards Children

Written by PTC | Published January 23, 2024

LOS ANGELES (January 23, 2024) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) is calling on Congress to pass solutions to protect children online ahead of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s January 31 hearing with CEOs of TikTok, Meta, Snapchat, Discord, and X/Twitter.

“Children are marketed to, preyed upon, and used for profit by technology companies. Meta continues to be revealed as fueling child sexual exploitation, providing a platform for pedophiles, and enabling sexually explicit and other harmful content that targets teens. Snapchat has been used to ‘lure and sexually exploit children.’ X/Twitter has struggled to confront its child sexual exploitation problem. These examples continue to pile up. Our children’s health and well-being are at stake,” said Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council.

“If Congress needs more evidence to compel action, it must bear in mind that social media companies made ‘over $11 billion in U.S. advertising revenue from minors in 2022.’ Big Tech needs accountability, otherwise, it will continue to profit from our children.

“Congress has before it solutions such as the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), designed to hold social media companies accountable and establish a duty of care for protecting children online, the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0), which expands privacy protections to teens and for children under age 13, the EARN IT Act, which would ensure that technology platforms protect children from child sexual abuse material, and other legislation that serves children and families instead of Big Tech interests.

“Congress cannot stand back and keep hoping that Big Tech will do more, be better, or act more responsibly. It is in our nation’s interest to protect future generations while they are still young. Congress must hold Big Tech accountable and protect our children, and we urge Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to schedule these bills for a vote immediately,” Henson concluded.

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 like TikTok and Instagram that are popular with 13-17-year-olds, thereby doing an end-run around parents.

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