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Friday, February 9, 2024

Screen time goes prime in public, private sectors

Following last month's Senate Judiciary hearings with Discord, Meta, Snap, TikTok, and X executives, Capitol Hill remains laser focused on protecting children from harmful effects of social media. Policymakers have crafted the following bipartisan legislation over the past year to further address the issue:

  • "The STOP CSAM Act, which supports victims and increases accountability and transparency for online platforms;

  • The EARN IT Act, which removes tech's blanket immunity from civil and criminal liability under child sexual abuse material laws and establishes a National Commission on Online Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention;

  • The SHIELD Act, which ensures that federal prosecutors have appropriate and effective tools to address the nonconsensual distribution of sexual imagery;

  • The Project Safe Childhood Act, which modernizes the investigation and prosecution of online child exploitation crimes; and,

  • The REPORT Act, which combats the rise in online child sexual exploitation by establishing new measures to help strengthen reporting of those crimes to the CyberTipline."

Addicts, unpaid labor

Allen Kopelman, co-founder and CEO of Nationwide Payment Systems, remarked that social media usage spiked during the pandemic and shows no sign of slowing down.

"People became more insulated and addicted to social media during the Covid-19 shutdown," he said. "Texting, posting and buying online became more prevalent, especially among young people, who rely so much on social media, and, unfortunately, a lot of people are not going out and socializing; many would rather buy online than deal with a store or restaurant."

Sue Fennessy, a tech entrepreneur and founder of New York-based Standard Media Index, agreed, stating, "I saw so clearly that social media in its current state is damaging the fabric of our society and taking billions of dollars a year in ad revenue away from our people and communities."

Fennessy went on to say that charitable organizations spend hundreds of millions of dollars to circumnavigate algorithms that restrict them from reaching their own communities, and the cumulative effect of social media is making citizens "the largest unpaid workforce in history."

App disruptor

To solve for this issue, Fennessy created a new app with centralized wallet that rewards users for their time and is designed to make it fun and easy for them to support their communities, countries and planet. The social platform, WeAre8, is not driven by toxic algorithms, Hennessy noted, but instead offers a revenue-sharing component and technology designed to protect its users.

Unlike other platforms, WeAre8 wants to inspire people to live their best lives off screen, Hennessy said, adding, "I only want 8 minutes of your time a day. And in that precious time, I want to inspire you with content you love, reconnect with your friends by seeing them in a private friends feed, watch a couple of minutes of ads, feel valued by seeing the money from watching drop into your 8Wallet and then pay your bills or 'pay it forward' to your community and charities you love."

Hennessy said that WeAre8 users can claim a share of money for every ad they watch, and for the month of February, app users will have a chance to receive a share of $20,000 in bonus wallet drops. This money can be saved, paid forward or used to support charities and community groups, she noted. The app is available on Google Play and Apple App stores.

"America is the home of the free and the land of the brave, and we need to stand together, reclaim our identity, our economic value and unite in a way that really can transform everything," she said. end of article

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