Schumer Goes All In For Censorship Scheme

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer added his name to the growing list of co-sponsors for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), the bipartisan bill to regulate what social media companies can promote to their underage users, The Hill reported.

Co-sponsors Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CN) announced on February 15 that KOSA had more than 60 co-sponsors, ensuring enough support for it to pass the Senate.

The senators said in a statement that the legislation was now co-sponsored by 62 lawmakers. They also revealed that additional changes had been made to “strengthen” the bill and the changes were enough to gain the approval of many groups that have voiced opposition to the measure.

The Kids Online Safety Act would create a duty of care for social media companies to protect children from online dangers and allow parents to opt their children out of a platform’s algorithm-based recommendations.

The changes added to the bill include a specific definition for the term “design feature.” Under the new language, a “design feature” would be anything that encourages minors to spend more time on a platform, like notifications, rewards for remaining online, and infinite scrolling.

Another change removed the provision giving state attorneys general authority in enforcing the law, leaving that authority solely to the Federal Trade Commission. Opponents of the bill argued that the provision would have allowed as many as 51 different definitions of “duty of care.”

LGBT groups opposed the provision, fearing that Republican attorneys general could interpret “duty of care” to mean preventing minors from accessing information on LGBT issues.

While many of the free speech and LGBT groups that initially opposed the legislation applauded the changes, the American Civil Liberties Union has yet to drop its opposition to the measure.

Senator Schumer said that he was committed to working with Blumenthal and Blackburn to advance the bill to a full Senate vote.