Blackburn, Blumenthal Urge Social Media Giants To Create Dedicated Process For School Account Verification

September 26, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today sent letters to six major social media companies about the lack of dedicated account verification and reporting processes for K-12 schools, which has led to difficulty reporting online harassment and fraudulent accounts.

K-12 Schools Have Difficulty Meeting Social Media Companies’ Account Verification Requirements

“Survey research indicates that schools face difficulties in verifying their identities with your platform because of the use of automated approval and rejection processes, minimum follower requirements, and verify-by-phone processes that don’t account for phone number extensions.”

The Lack of Dedicated Reporting Processes Makes It Hard For Schools To Handle Online Abuse and Report Fake Accounts

“Further, according to NSPRA and COSN survey research, schools and districts report having few recourses for reporting a fraudulent social media account outside of the reporting mechanism available to the general public. NSPRA and COSN also indicate that schools and districts experience frustratingly long response times when reporting incidents of online harassment and bullying and that these reports are often rejected despite a clear violation of your platform’s terms and conditions.”

Social Media Companies Should Create Dedicated Processes To Lift the Burden On Schools

“It is clear that your platform could do more to facilitate these processes for schools and districts and establishing dedicated account verification and reporting practices would be a good initial step towards addressing these issues.”

View the full letters to Meta, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and LinkedIn.