According to reports, music star Lizzo partnered with the Dove Self-Esteem Project, Common Sense Media, and Parents Together Action to back the 2023 Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA).
“Social media is supposed to be a place where people can express themselves and be a source for beauty and confidence, not anxiety, that’s why I’m partnering with Dove again and calling on platforms to do more to make social media safe for young people,” stated Lizzo.
The Special album creator also added, “Seeing the negative impact social media is having on youth mental health today is devastating and has to stop. Join us and use your voice to help make a change.”
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn introduced the Kids Online Safety Act bill in the U.S. Senate. The legislation’s stated goal is to help protect minors on social media from self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, and sexual exploitation.
“Even after being confronted with compelling evidence of the damage their platforms can inflict, Big Tech remains unwilling to change. The Kids Online Safety Act will address those harms,” said Senator Blackburn.
Additionally, Senator Blumenthal said, “The Commerce Committee’s markup of the Kids Online Safety Act will bring us closer to holding Big Tech accountable for putting profits above kids’ safety.”
Fight For The Future Calls On Lizzo To Meet With LGBTQ Experts About KOSA
However, some LGBTQ activists are pushing back on the Kids Online Safety Act. Fight for the Future launched an open letter campaign calling on Lizzo to end her support for the bi-partisan legislation.
“We are writing to you as fans and supporters of your work to tell you ‘Exactly How I Feel’ and to express our concern about your support for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA),” reads Fight for the Future’s letter addressed to Lizzo.
The open letter continues, “While we appreciate your dedication to empowering young people, making them feel ‘Special,’ and your thoughtful comments on the harms of social media, we fear that you have been misled about this legislation, which would harm youth rather than helping them.”
According to Fight for the Future, numerous LGBTQ rights, human rights, and civil rights organizations oppose the Kids Online Safety Act. Groups such as the ACLU, American Library Association, and GLAAD signed another letter expressing opposition to KOSA.
Fight for the Future’s open letter to Lizzo also reads, “KOSA could even restrict your own feminist and body-positive content from being shown to minors. If social media companies become legally liable for recommending a broad area of content to children, they will simply suppress all such content for kids, rather than determining which content is ‘positive’ and which is ‘harmful.'”
In addition, Fight for the Future argues that KOSA could cause censorship of LGBTQ content and prevent kids from having access to vital online resources around body positivity, healthy relationships, and other topics. The protest group also called on Lizzo to meet with human rights and LGBTQ experts to discuss the concerns about KOSA.