From Nicole, Accountable Tech <[email protected]>
Subject “Social media was not magic. It was an illusion.”
Date February 17, 2023 6:04 PM
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Hey there --

Earlier this week, we were inspired by youth activist Emma Lembke (our former intern!) who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Big Tech’s ongoing exploitation of children for profit.

This is the first time a youth advocate has testified before the Senate about their experience online. Emma shared her story of joining Instagram at age 12 saying, “Social media was not magic. It was an illusion, a carefully designed product predicated on maximizing attention at the cost of my wellbeing. As my screen time steadily increased, my mental and physical health suffered.” Watch and share her testimony:

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Watch on YouTube [[link removed]]

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Emma shone a light on what we know to be true: The internet was not designed with kids, teens, and young adults in mind. But, momentum for change is on our side. In September, California passed the Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) – a law that will protect the safety of children and teens by requiring online platforms that are likely to be accessed by children to prioritize their wellbeing, and make a higher level of privacy the default for kids. Under the AADC, companies must stop sharing or selling children’s data unless it is essential to the service. No more selling children’s data to advertisers.

This legislation offers a roadmap for other states to follow suit with greater protections for kids' health, safety, and privacy. And other states are taking notice – bills inspired by the AADC have now been introduced in New Mexico and Maryland with bipartisan support.

Our movement is only getting started. Together, we can create a safer digital environment for all young people .

Share highlights from Emma’s testimony [[link removed]] to help spread the word.

Let’s get to it,

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Nicole Gill
Co-founder and Executive Director
Accountable Tech

We see the irony of asking you to take action on the same platforms we’re fighting to hold accountable, but they are… well… dominant. We have to reach people where they are in order to level the playing field -- and we’re ready to bring the fight right to their own platforms.

Chip in to support our work holding Big Tech accountable:
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Democracy depends on common truths. Social media giants are eroding our consensus reality and pushing democracy to the brink. Accountable Tech is fighting back by urging social media companies to serve the public good by strengthening the integrity of their platforms and our democracy. Make a donation to fund our work → [[link removed]]
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