The latest in a long line of laws aimed at protecting kids online could be a thinly veiled attempt to censor trans content. One of the bill’s authors recently confirmed that was part of her overall agenda. Here is the full story.
Think of the Children
The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) was first introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2022 under the guise of protecting kids from the dark corner of the internet. But critics aren’t so sure.
Government Control on Tap
Some internet privacy advocates think the bill would actually just give the government more access to everyone’s online activities.
Photo ID Required
And there is a long string of similar privacy acts that have been introduced over the years to erode privacy on the net.
For example, age-verification bills would require visitors to porn sites to prove their age and ID before proceeding.
Protecting Our Kids
The KOSA is easy for politicians to defend because it says right in the name that it’s about kids’ safety. And who could argue with that?
Support From the Top
In fact, though KOSA didn’t make it to law in 2022, it was reintroduced in the Senate in 2023 and is drawing bipartisan support.
One of its champions is none other than President Joe Biden himself.
LGBTQ+ in the Crosshairs
But many advocates worry that the bill would eventually target content related to LGBTQ+ issues even if there was nothing indecent or exploitative about that content.
Fears Are Justified
Now, those fears have been somewhat confirmed by one of the bill’s lead sponsors.
Blackburn Wants to Clean Up
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn has gone on record to say that her top priority is cleaning up social media for kids.
Protection From “The Transgender”
According to Blackburn, conservatives should be focused on “protecting minor children from the transgender in this culture and that influence.”
Strong Christian Ties
That statement came during an interview with Family Policy Alliance, a conservative Christian group earlier in 2023.
She Has a Vehicle
It’s not a stretch to think that Blackburn might want to use KOSA to achieve that objective if it becomes law.
They Don’t Agree
That’s not exactly the case, though, says Blackburn’s office.
Answering the Bell
When users on Twitter raised the alarm bell that KOSA could pose a threat to LGBTQ+ content, Blackburn’s legislative director Jamie Susskind was quick to respond.
No Specific Targets
“This is false. These are two separate issues being taken out of context. KOSA will not — nor was it designed to — target or censor any individual or community,” Susskind said in a Tweeted reply.
Trans Community Worried
Trans advocates aren’t necessarily buying the clear distinction between the two.
Trans reporter Erin Reed said, for example, worries that LGBTQ+ could get thrown under the bus even if that’s not the letter of the law.
All Freedom at Stake
And others worry that KOSA could lead to a loss of freedom for just about anyone and everyone.
Huge Unilateral Power
As an example, Jason Kelley, activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that attorneys general could unilaterally censor content they find offensive under KOSA.
They Could Take the Helm
That’s obviously a big problem and could lead to the ruling party in any given state essentially taking control of the internet for their constituents.
They’ll Know Who We Are
Others point out that KOSA would probably force certain websites to enforce age-verification rules.
But in order to do that, users would have to share personally identifiable information.
A Privacy Breach
That’s a huge privacy concern and could lead to identity theft in the case of a data breach.
Not a Clear Win
Whether or not KOSA actually targets trans content, it’s clear that the “think of the children” bill is not as clear-cut as it might seem on the surface.
Trump 2024 Campaign Derails: Judge Chutkan Fast-Tracks Trial Date to Preempt Super Tuesday Showdown
A federal judge dealt a huge blow to Donald Trump’s 2024 election plans on Monday. She didn’t do much for his prospects of staying out of jail, either. Trump 2024 Campaign Derails: Judge Chutkan Fast-Tracks Trial Date to Preempt Super Tuesday Showdown
Tucker Carlson Drops Bombshell Allegations: Obama’s Crack Habit and Secret Gay Affairs Revealed, Predicts U.S.-Russia War
Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host, made a series of controversial allegations about Barack Obama’s past. He claims the media intentionally overlooked these stories during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. Tucker Carlson Drops Bombshell Allegations: Obama’s Crack Habit and Secret Gay Affairs Revealed, Predicts U.S.-Russia War
“Chamber of Elderly Homes”: Mitch McConnell Freezes Again and Gets Escorted Away Sparking Health Concerns
Mitch McConnell, the 81-year-old Senator, has once again raised concerns about his health and future in politics after a series of troubling incidents, including freezing during a press event and being led away from the podium. “Chamber of Elderly Homes”: Mitch McConnell Freezes Again and Gets Escorted Away Sparking Health Concerns
“Karma Strikes Back” – Russia Faces Its Largest Attack on Home Soil Since the War Began
Reports of drone attacks on Russian soil by the Ukrainian forces have escalated to the largest cross-border attack since the war started, with the important airport in Pskov becoming the latest victim. “Karma Strikes Back” – Russia Faces Its Largest Attack on Home Soil Since the War Began
“We’re Not Done Yet” – Trump Faces Accusations of Embezzling Millions From His Own Supporters! Will the Legal System Finally Hold Him Accountable?
Trump faces possible legal difficulties as the PAC is investigated regarding election donations. “We’re Not Done Yet” – Trump Faces Accusations of Embezzling Millions From His Own Supporters! Will the Legal System Finally Hold Him Accountable?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Victor Velter. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.