A federal law passed earlier this month will force tech companies — including social media platforms — to crack down on online child exploitation.


The bipartisan “Revising Existing Procedures on Reporting via Technology” (REPORT) Act amends federal laws concerning the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, including expanding the kinds of content electronic communication and cloud computing companies must report to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on May 7 after it passed the House of Representatives in April with a two-thirds favorable vote.  The bill originated in the Senate, which passed it unanimously in December.

The Law


  • Adds two new categories of exploitation providers must report to the NCMEC’s CyberTipline: 1) Child sex trafficking and 2) “Coercion or enticement” of children to participate in illegal sexual activities.
    Previous laws only required providers report evidence of child pornography.
  • Requires providers archive exploitative material they have reported for at least one year to assist in NCMEC investigations.
    Previous laws only required providers keep evidence for 90 days.
  • Protects providers keeping evidence of child exploitation for investigation from being charged with a crime — provided they use appropriate digital security and there is no evidence of misconduct.
  • Increases fines for companies that violate reporting rules from between $150,000 and $300,000 to between $600,000 and one million dollars, depending on the size of the company.
The Rationale

Senator Marsha Blackburn (TN) introduced the bill to make the internet and social media safer for kids.

“Children are increasingly looking at screens, and social media leaves more innocent kids at risk of online exploitation,” Blackburn (TN) wrote on X after the bill became law. “My REPORT Act — which is now law — will require Big Tech companies to report when children are being trafficked, groomed or enticed by predators.”

Why It Matters

Social media isn’t safe for kids.

Even discounting the effects of excessive screen use on young minds, social media has repeatedly proven itself to be a hotbed of sexual and financial exploitation.

The REPORT Act attempts to hold platforms accountable for the kinds of conduct and interactions they allow on their platform — a response to parents’ concern that tech companies don’t adequately protect kids from online predators and inappropriate content.

State legislators on both sides of the aisle are addressing the same concern with age-verification bills for social media and pornography.

The Daily Citizen unequivocally supports laws that empower parents to make good decisions for their kids. But parents shouldn’t rely on the government or the paltry efforts of social media companies to protect their children — that God-given responsibility belongs to them alone.

Social Media Safety Strategies

Don’t be afraid to curtail your teen’s social media use or stop them from getting an account at all. Though it’s never fun to be the bad guy in the moment, your child will thank you later (I certainly thanked mine). If you can’t quite bring yourself to go cold turkey, make sure your child’s online use is supervised.

Have age-appropriate conversations with your kids about the pitfalls of social media and emphasize they should never be afraid to ask for help if they get into trouble.

Tackle your own bad social media habits before tackling your kids’. There are few teaching tools more powerful than a good example.

To learn more about age-verification laws for pornography, click here. For information on social media age-verification laws, click here.

To find out more about age verification and parents’ rights legislation in your state, contact your local Focus on the Family-allied Family Policy Council.

Additional Articles and Resources

Horrifying Instagram Investigation Indicts Modern Parenting

‘The Dirty Dozen List’—Corporations Enable and Profit from Sexual Exploitation

Four Ways to Protect Your Kids from Bad Tech, From Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt

Social Psychologist Finds Smartphones and Social Media Harm Kids in These Four Ways

Survey Finds Teens Use Social Media More Than Four Hours Per Day — Here’s What Parents Can Do

Pornhub Quits Texas Over Age Verification Law

Plugged in Parent’s Guide to Today’s Technology