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Design It For Us Statement on Maryland’s Failure to Protect Kids Online

A new youth-led coalition that advocates for safer social media and online platforms for kids, teens, and young adults, expressed deep disappointment that the Maryland Age Appropriate Design Code did not get a vote in the State Senate.

Design it For Us co-chair Zamaan Qureshi released the following statement:

“It is incredibly disheartening that the Maryland legislature ended its session today without passing critical legislation to make online spaces safer for kids and teens.

For young people growing up in the digital age, the need for tech accountability is long overdue. While we will keep working to see design code legislation advance in other jurisdictions, it is disappointing that Big Tech and their front groups lobbied hard to protect their own interests over Maryland young people, including the nine students who were in Annapolis just ten days ago appealing directly to lawmakers.

We applaud the efforts of the bill’s sponsors, Delegates Solomon and Wilson, and Senators Kramer and West, and plan to work with them to bring the Age Appropriate Design Code back next session, but in the meantime Maryland kids and teens are left without the common sense protections afforded to kids and teens in the U.K. and California.”

Background on the efforts of Design It For Us to support the Maryland Age Appropriate Design Code:

  • Organized a youth lobby day to bring nine Maryland students to Annapolis to share their stories and speak directly to Maryland legislators about the need for this legislation
  • Ran a full-page ad and homepage takeover of the Baltimore Sun to underscore the overwhelming support for the legislation from kids, teens, parents, educators, and doctors across the state.
  • Elevated the Maryland Association of Student Councils’ endorsement of the bill. The association represents 159 schools and 24 regions across the state.
  • Secured youth witness testimony from young Marylanders, Andrew and Devin, who spoke during committee hearings about their personal experiences online, and the need to support this critical legislation.
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