EPPC Scholars Sign Joint Letter to State Legislatures Urging Action on Tech Policy

Published February 21, 2024


On February 15, EPPC scholars Patrick T. Brown and Clare Morell signed a joint letter with Brad Wilcox and Michael Toscano of the Institute for Family Studies to state legislatures across the country urging them to take action to protect children from the well-documented dangers of unregulated internet access. The letter reads:

The problems that tech presents to kids and parents are not limited to online porn; empowering parents requires a broader approach. Some states now require social media platforms to obtain parental permission before opening a new account for a minor, a measure that 81 percent of Democratic and 84 percent of Republican parents support. Our polling also found that 77 percent of all parents supported requiring social media platforms to give parents the ability to access what their kids are viewing, and who they are communicating with. This would lead to fewer children falling down rabbit holes of extreme or harmful content.

Our two organizations have experts who have thought through the legal questions, the technical challenges, and the political ramifications of these bills. Our team has worked with states across the U.S. on ways to implement tech policies that prioritize parents. We are more than happy to discuss our approach to smart, targeted legislation that would withstand legal challenges and provide meaningful answers to parents frustrated by the potential impact of tech and social media on their teens’ physical well-being and mental health. And we encourage you to prioritize families as you consider the legislative proposals in front of you.

Clare Morell is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she directs EPPC’s Technology and Human Flourishing Project. Prior to joining EPPC, Ms. Morell worked in both the White House Counsel’s Office and the Department of Justice, as well as in the private and non-profit sectors.

Patrick T. Brown is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where his work with the Life and Family Initiative focuses on developing a robust pro-family economic agenda and supporting families as the cornerstone of a healthy and flourishing society.

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