In today’s day in age, the Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation is dependent on many different platforms for us to be able to spread our important message. While the topic of gun safety for children and youth may be a polarizing topic for some. It doesn’t need to be or should be! We have already faced a few account bans on TikTok, which led us to abandon the app altogether. We are very careful about the information that we put out, it is mostly to educate, entertain, or to help raise awareness about the important work that we are doing to protect children. While we prefer to be outside of our “echo chamber,” we have to be able to outreach to the public but, live under the rules of the tech giants. The point of this blog post isn’t meant to be a rant but as was to bring awareness to our followers on the challenges that we are facing and how you can help us push back against this censorship.
As of late, we have been struggling to get our message out. The tech giants like Meta, IG, and YouTube have used their algorithms to clamp down on our accounts. It has never been fun having to play by their rules because fundamentally we do NOT agree with how there is a double standard applied across all of social media. I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast one time and he commented on a “hierarchy” of what is acceptable types of pics of dead animals on social media. He stated that a fish was acceptable, but when he posted a pic of a turkey that he harvested, the comment section blew up. Lastly, he posted a pic of a white package of bear meat, just the package. The comment section went crazy. I found this to be very relevant to what we are doing. We spend a lot of time searching and following trends across all of social media. This helps us create relevant content and to help us evolve our messaging.
A couple of observations that I have noticed in the “hierarchy” of what is acceptable forms of what is acceptable types of messaging towards children on social media. One type is content that could be considered “grooming.” In this type of content it almost seems like is pushed out to more people and it may appear condoned by the big tech giants. As a Safety Organization, we will never condone or support this type of content, but shows the hypocrisy involved with the algorithms. The next type of content is the kind that leads to the confusion of young teens when it comes to the gender debate. One point that we want to make is that we believe in individual liberty and we want all to live their lives the way that want to as long as it’s legal. It is important to look at the data that teen trans kids have the highest rates of suicide in our society. It seems that this form of content is pushed out heavily across social media platforms, and this could be very bad for the mental health of our youth. Lastly, you have the content that we put out. Our content is mostly designed for the parents, we have a responsibility as an organization to put out content that would be acceptable to be viewed by children as well as adults. On YouTube, we have a large following of teen viewers from all over the world. We try very hard to put out positive forms of content because we are aware of how social media can affect people’s mental health. This has led us to a point where we are consistently being censored across all social media. People aren’t seeing our posts which has led to classes not being filled. The classes not being filled make the lives of the children in the communities we serve vulnerable.
The key takeaway from this blog post is how we are all in this together. We have to support all of us who believe a certain way. If there is content that resonates with you because of how the message is portrayed. Support that content!! Typically a Like, Comment, and Sharing will help the content defeat the algorithms that constantly suppress free speech. It only takes a step to help those who could use your help. What could bring us together as a society is also being used to divide us and we need to be mindful of that. You can set alerts for the accounts that you follow, this will help notify you when there is a new post. At the end of the day, this is an annoyance, it is disheartening for us. We will change our tactics and evolve to get better at what we do. One thing that we won’t do is change our views on what we feel is morally right and we will always defend our children. Together we will continue to do what we can to reach the public and showcase good, positive content. We appreciate any help you may provide. Remember the Likes, Comments, and Shares are the fuel that helps us protect more children. Until next time. Be safe!!