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Sammy's Law

Sammy was an amazing kid — sweet, funny, curious, and an A student. Sammy’s parents worked hard to keep him away from dangerous people and places. But, like most parents, Sammy’s parents had no idea that drug dealers were preying on children using Snapchat and other social media platforms. And they had no idea illegal, untested drugs could be delivered to their house as easily as a pizza. On February 7, 2021, a drug dealer reached out to our son Sammy on Snapchat and delivered drugs to him at home. He snuck out after his parents were asleep to meet the dealer, who gave him what turned out to be a lethal dose of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid twice as addictive as heroin, 100 times more powerful than morphine — and fatal even in microscopic doses. Sammy had no idea he was taking it. As a result, Sammy lost his life.

Sammy is but one of the millions of young victims of social media-related dangers this year. These dangers include:

46% of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 report experiencing cyberbullying.


24% of young people have seen illicit drugs advertised for sale on social media.


Greater time spent on online social media leads to greater exposure to and engagement in self-harm behavior. It also leads to an increase in psychological distress and suicidal ideation in depressed adolescents.


In one study, nearly 20 % of a sample of high school students reported they had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves and almost 40% had received one.


The most common answer given by teens when asked why they participate in sexting is pressure and coercion.


Approximately 5% of students reported that they had been the victim of sextortion.


Many child sex crimes now originate from online social media sites where predators gain knowledge of their victims’ likes and habits.


Nine months after a Wall Street Journal investigation showed that TikTok’s algorithms were flooding teens’ For You pages with videos encouraging weight loss and disordered eating, there are still plenty of them on the platform. 

In one study, about 43% of young adults had seen self-harm content on Instagram just once (18%) or more than once (25%). About 32.5% indicated that they have performed the same (or very similar) self-harming behavior as a consequence of seeing self-harm content on Instagram, indicating a substantial number of participants reporting a (presumed) copycat influence.


Give Parents The Choice of Safety

One of the most effective ways for parents to protect children is by using third-party safety software. This type of software can provide alerts to parents when dangerous content is shared through children’s social media accounts, enabling life-saving interventions at critical moments. For example, if a child is expressing thoughts of suicide via social media, then a parent, who has received an alert through a third-party safety app, can immediately provide mental health support. These alerts have already protected millions of children. For third-party safety apps to work, social media companies need to give them permission. While many social media platforms do provide this access, unfortunately, others, like Snapchat and TikTok, do not, even though the burden on the platforms of providing access is negligible and can be done securely using existing, industry-standardized technology. Sammy’s Law will finally give parents the choice to use third-party safety software for their children.

Millions of children are being harmed from dangers associated with social media use. That is why over 93% of parents support requiring social media companies to give parents the choice to use third-party safety software. Congress needs to act immediately to protect millions of young lives!

Dr. Laura Berman, Sammy’s Mom

Tell Congress to Pass Sammy’s Law Now

Sign our petition and show your elected officials your support of Sammy’s Law today! Parents must be able to choose safety.

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