“We know you don’t support this!” Lizzo fans try to educate her about the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) after she endorses a misguided bill as part of Dove campaign. Petition calls for Lizzo to meet with human rights and LGBTQ groups about the bill
Activist group Fight for the Future has launched a new online petition calling on Lizzo to drop her support for the controversial Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA). The bill’s sponsors claim is intended to protect kids online, but it has been roundly condemned by nearly every major LGBTQ and human rights organization in the US including the ACLU, GLAAD, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, because it would actually make kids less safe, not more safe, and could lead to widespread censorship of LGBTQ content, body-positive content, content related to reproductive health care, and other important topics for young people.
“We know you don’t support this! We know you are an ardent advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, so we hope you will reconsider your support of this bill, and instead agree that it’s “About Damn Time” to amplify legislation that would actually help kids, like strong data privacy legislation so their online presence is protected from exploitative big tech companies. KOSA is not the answer to children’s safety on the Internet, it’s a threat to the health and well-being of marginalized children across the country,” the petition said.
“Young people need to hear Lizzo’s positive message, but the irony is that under KOSA, social media platforms would almost certainly be prevented from recommending her songs and videos to minors,” said Evan Greer (she/they), director of Fight for the Future, “Lizzo has been a strong ally to the LGBTQ community. I’m sure she wouldn’t support this bill if she knew how many LGBTQ groups oppose it and how it would actually harm kids rather than helping them. Our hope is that this petition can get her attention and she’ll do the right thing and drop support for KOSA. Instead, she and Dove should focus their efforts on thoughtful efforts like strong privacy and antitrust legislation to hold Big Tech companies accountable and reduce their harm.”
KOSA would allow state attorneys general (think: Ken Paxton from Texas who is actively investigating the families of trans children) to dictate what content platforms are allowed to recommend to underage users. While the bill’s supporters fantasize that this will incentivize platforms to moderate more responsibly (for example by removing content promoting eating disorders) the reality is that they will simply moderate in a more risk-averse way (for example by suppressing all content where eating disorders are discussed at all, even if it’s important self-help content or content directing young people to resources for support.
More than 100 human rights organizations oppose KOSA. Meanwhile, the right wing Heritage Foundation supports it, and has said it will help stop Big Tech from “turning kids trans.” We know this is not the team Lizzo wants to be on.
The petition launched today, and Fight for the Future intends to deliver the signatures to Lizzo’s management at the end of the month.