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Minnesota Kids Code advocates undaunted as Big Tech lobbyists thwart Internet safety legislation for kids

Minnesota advocates blame Big Tech giants and pledge to return next session

ST. PAUL – MAY 16, 2024 — Despite tireless advocacy and bipartisan support, the Minnesota Age Appropriate Design Code, aimed at safeguarding children’s online experiences, faced a setback as Big Tech juggernauts deployed their financial might and influence to derail the passage of crucial internet safety legislation. Representative Kristin Bahner minced no words in her assessment, stating, “Big Tech launched a relentless assault, wielding their deep pockets and lobbyists to distort and manipulate the narrative surrounding this legislation. Let’s be clear: this was about prioritizing profit over the protection of our youth.”

Senator Erin Maye Quade echoed these sentiments, saying, “It’s undeniable that Big Tech placed their interests above the safety of Minnesota’s families. The measures we proposed were not radical; they would have simply provided essential guardrails for our children’s digital interactions, akin to successful laws enacted elsewhere.”

Erin Walsh, Co-Founder of the Spark and Stitch Institute, said, “Minnesota’s lawmakers aimed to set a national standard for positive, safe, and private online experiences for kids. However, Big Tech’s interference derailed bipartisan efforts, unfairly burdening Minnesota families and exacerbating inequities in our kids’ risk exposure statewide.”

Despite the setback, Erich Mische, Executive Director of SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, remains resolute, declaring, “While this battle may have been lost, the war for our children’s online safety is far from over. We will return with renewed vigor in the next legislative session, steadfast in our commitment to champion the Minnesota Kids Code. The internet is ingrained in our children’s lives, and it’s our duty to ensure it is welcoming, inclusive, and free from harm.”

SAVE is a national suicide prevention nonprofit working to end the tragedy of suicide through education, training, advocacy and support of suicide loss survivors.
We envision a nation that prioritizes mental health and suicide prevention efforts while reducing the impact of suicide on families and communities.

Please direct all inquiries to SAVE Marketing and Communications Manager Josie Gereszek at (952) 208-8488