On February 16th, a new bill was introduced to reduce and prevent online harm to children. The bill was introduced by US Senators Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Preamble is glad to see bipartisan efforts and wholeheartedly supports the newly introduced Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA). This bill follows this winter's hearings on Section 230, where Senators proposed broader improvements in the Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act (JAMAA) and Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act (PADAA). The hearings revealed that technology can have unintended consequences and users are largely unable to control the algorithms that curate content on their behalf. The current draft of KOSA requires "options for minors or their parents to modify the results of the algorithmic recommendation system, including the right to opt-out or down-rank types or categories of recommendations." The bill addresses harms such as online bullying, harassment, promotion of self-harm, sexual exploitation, and promotion of illegal content for minors. We see this bill improving a high-impact area to support our nation's future by protecting children's mental health.
While kids have been isolated from friends and peers these last few years, they have spent more time online, increasing the chances of being exposed to harmful content. Twitter’s cofounder and former CEO Jack Dorsey stated in 2020 that "we need to open up and be transparent around how our algorithms work and how they're used, and maybe even enable people to choose their own algorithms to rank the content or to create their own algorithms, to rank it." Preamble has been developing middleware solutions to enable parents and end users to make these critical decisions. A middleware solution will allow multiple platforms to integrate with parent-trusted middleware services that modify the online environments for their kids.
 Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn , “The Kids Online Safety Act of 2022,” February 16, 2022, https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/kids_online_safety_act_-_one_pager.pdf.
 Lauren Jackson and Desiree Ibekwe, “Jack Dorsey on Twitter's Mistakes,” The New York Times (The New York Times, August 7, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/07/podcasts/the-daily/Jack-dorsey-twitter-trump.html.