Kids’ Organizations & Advocates Urge Governor Moore to Stand Up to Big Tech Lobby by Signing Landmark Youth Online Safety Legislation



ANNAPOLIS – More than a dozen organizations and advocates that helped lead the successful fight for the Maryland Kids Code, which unanimously passed both chambers of the General Assembly earlier this week, urged Governor Wes Moore to listen to the public mandate for action to protect kids’ data, privacy and safety online.

“With your signature companies will be required to innovate in the name of children’s well-being, ushering in a future where children and youth can thrive online,” wrote the advocates, including Design It For UsEconomic Action MarylandFree State PTAGrace McComas Memorial, the Maryland Association of School Health Nurses, the Maryland Association of Student Councils, the Maryland Association of Youth Services Bureaus, the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Maryland Coalition of Families, the Maryland Episcopal Public Policy Network, the Maryland Out of School Time Network, the Maryland State Education Association, the Matthew E. Minor Awareness Foundation, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Maryland. “The General Assembly’s passage of the Maryland Kids Code has made that future possible, now we need your leadership to make it a reality.”

The letter comes days after a fresh attempt from Big Tech lobbying front group NetChoice to scuttle the bill by sending a veto request to Governor Moore despite parents’ and young people’s pleas for action.

“The fact that Big Tech lobbyists are still trying to kill this bill even after every single member of the General Assembly voted for it, showing its widespread public support, just goes to show that these companies are not willing to lift one finger to help our kids if it risks cutting into their bottom line,” said Kids Code Coalition spokesperson Marisa Shea.

Over the past year and a half of Kids Code hearings, Maryland legislators repeatedly made national news by standing up to Big Tech lobbyists and exposing their deceptive tactics.

Read the full letter here.

Community voices calling for the 2024 Maryland Kids Code

The Baltimore Sun – How many more kids will be victimized before we make the digital world safer for them? (Editorial Board, 2/5/24)

Todd Minor, Sr. – A TikTok challenge killed our son; now we fight for other children’s safety (Baltimore Sun, 1/24/24)

Elizabeth Elliott – School nurse: Social media exacerbates teen health crisis by design (Maryland Matters, 1/12/24)

Del. CT Wilson – Protect children from online abuse, addiction linked to social media (Baltimore Banner, 1/8/24)

Gabriela Romo – Time for parents to start holding tech platforms accountable (MoCo360, 1/5/24)