Parents v. Big Tech

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Parent Stories

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Kristin Bride
Lake Oswego, OR
“My son, Carson Bride, a 16-year-old from Lake Oswego, OR, ended his life after being viciously cyberbullied by his high school “Snapchat friends” who were using the anonymous apps Yolo and LMK to hide their identities. The last search on Carson’s phone before he ended his life was for hacks to find out who was sending the hundreds of negative, harassing, humiliating and sexually explicit messages.”
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Las Vegas, NV
“We recently removed Discord and blocked Roblox after learning my 13-year-old daughter was having inappropriate conversations with an older person. We realized that these groups and chats are amplifying certain views to the point where kids are radicalized in a certain belief. Our daughter socializes with friends and strangers through these platforms, again being drawn into certain groups to the point where no alternative opinions are offered, instead of socializing offline with real people with different views.”
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Joann Bogard
Evansville, IN
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Judy Rogg
Santa Monica, CA
“My son, Erik Robinson, was a normal, bright and curious 6th grader - an "A" student, boy scout, and athlete who had focused plans and dreams for his future. He learned about The Choking Game (aka Pass Out, Black Out, Tap Out, Choking Challenge, etc.) the day before he tried it at home and died. There were no warning signs because the police investigation uncovered that he had only just learned of it the day before. Had we known about its dangers, we would have discussed it and I am confident that he never would have attempted to "play" it ... he would be alive today. Erik's dream was to be a soldier - he wanted to save lives. My mission is to honor his legacy by saving the lives of other kids and to keep families from experiencing this type of cataclysmic loss. I co-founded Erik's Cause in his memory to help save other kids' lives and to save other families and communities from this kind of unimaginable and devastating loss.”
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Christopher H.
Hollywood, CA
“As a father of a 13-year-old girl I’m very concerned about beauty filters and the unrealistic expectation it creates for young girls about looking a certain way.”
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Karla Garcia
Los Angeles, CA
“My child is constantly apologizing for “getting distracted.” I.E. going on the internet instead of doing his homework or practices. It’s so draining. My boy goes into his bedroom saying he’s going to do his homework and practice piano and hours later, nothing is done. Not a note heard. I'm out of ideas. I say get your work done and then you can have an hour of uninterrupted internet time on the weekends. That’s not what’s happening and he gets so mad at himself. I’m so fortunate to have such an amazing soul to raise. I’m tired of the poor kid beating himself up because instead of finishing his work, he gets sucked down the YouTube rabbit hole.”
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Heather S.
Colbert, WA
“There is no aspect of my children's being that has not been bullied on social media”
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Justin N.
Logan, UT
“YouTube (even with all the kids filters turned on) has a strongly negative effect on our children. Their moods and their focus on school work are both markedly damaged when they interface with YouTube. It has gotten so bad that we have looked into blocking the IP of YouTube from our house.”
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Annemarie L.
Philadelphia, PA
“I have a 14-year-old daughter ... It breaks my heart to hear her say that she is ugly and fat. I keep trying to tell her beauty starts from the inside, and all the girls you see wear a lot of makeup or use the filters. You have to love yourself and tell yourself that everyday. My daughter is beautiful!”
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Rose H.
Kanoehe, HI
“My daughter is struggling with anorexia nervosa. TikTok is definitely a factor.”
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Danielle H.
Jefferson, IN
“My daughter’s good friend committed suicide a month ago. She was bullied on TikTok, and her note stated she basically couldn’t live up to standards that social media platforms set.”
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Annie McGrath
Madison, WI
“My only son, Griffin Glen McGrath was an amazing, extraordinary child. He touched everyone he met with his exceptional intelligence, quick wit, and kind, loving soul. He was 13 years old, and accepted a dare to try "the pass-out challenge" that he and his friends had seen many times online. He was facetiming with 2 classmates when he tried the challenge/game and it went wrong. Griffin/Bubba was one in a million and we are still grieving this insurmountable loss. Now I am trying to help in every way possible, to the very best of my ability, to spread awareness about this horrible "challenge/game".”
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Amy Neville
San Tan Valley, AZ
“Alexander Hastings Neville, 14 years old, died on 23 June 2020-- poisoning by fentanyl—a drug he mistook for something else purchased off Snapchat. Alexander was a normal, average teenager with a loving and supportive family. He had always been a kind and generous person who touched the lives of so many. Alex was always introspective about his place in the world. He was very caring and sensitive. Alex felt deeply and empathized with others. Because of this, he courageously fought his impulsiveness and would make heart-felt amends if he hurt others. However, in his teenage years he began to explore ways to numb his growing negative feelings. This led him to pills such as Xanax and later OxyContin in his last 9 days. He connected with a drug dealer anonymously on Snapchat hoping to get more OxyContin. However, It turned out that he was being sold fentanyl, a cheaper and more deadly alternative that killed him quickly one night. Alexander is one of many victims of fentanyl poisoning enabled by Snapchat. Platforms like Snapchat make it easy to connect anonymously to young users making deals like the one that killed Alex far too common. My son could not be saved but there are many more that can be. Holding social media platforms accountable for the safety of our children is paramount in protecting kids like Alexander.”
Has your family experienced harms online?
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