About FOSI
FOSI in the News
Jun
23
2020
The Wall Street Journal

When my 10-year-old son recently encountered a young adult making rude comments in a game of “Minecraft,” he and his friends told the interloper to leave their “world.” When he didn’t, my son exited the world, resulting in all the other players being booted. Then he blocked the man from ever playing with him again.

Apr
14
2020
Consumer Reports

As his family hunkers down at home during the coronavirus pandemic, Tony Costa is worried about what his two sons, 9 and 12, are doing online while surfing the web for schoolwork or playing video games like Roblox and Fortnite.Both boys are avid gamers and the banker from Staten Island, N.Y., worries about all sorts of things that may befall them, from exposure to content that's violent or sexual to inappropriate contact with adults."It's a strange new world," he frets. "I have blocked their devices from adult content, but that doesn't mean predators can't try to chat with them online in the games."

Feb
19
2020
BBC

TikTok is introducing a new "family safety mode" designed to give parents tighter control over teens' mobile phone habits. It will let parents link their own TikTok accounts to their child's - and turn features on and off remotely. That includes a "restricted mode" that tries to filter out inappropriate content, and turning off messaging. TikTok has an age limit of 13, but many pre-teens still use the Chinese-owned app. A recent survey by UK media regulator Ofcom found that TikTok was used by 13% of all children aged 12-15 in 2019 - up from 8% the year before.

Nov
06
2019
The Hill

With virtual assistants sitting on our kitchen counters, connected toys living in our kids’ bedrooms, and facial recognition software popping up on our street corners, it can sometimes feel like we are living in an episode of Black Mirror. Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be revolutionizing our world, but we can’t take it for granted that these technologies will be positive for our kids and the next generation. To keep kids safe online, we must develop a culture of responsibility now — one in which online safety relies upon government, tech companies, schools, parents, and kids themselves.

Nov
05
2019
The Washington Post

Managers insist they are revamping policies to give American staff greater autonomy from Beijing.

Aug
21
2019
NBC KGW 8

It’s back-to-school season, which is the perfect time for parents to take extra steps to make sure their kids are being safe online.The Family Online Safety Institute is hosting workshops in partnership with Verizon this month to help families navigate the new age of digital parenting.

Aug
05
2019
Indianapolis FOX 59

Parenting today's tech savvy kids can be overwhelming.  Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, joins Verizon's Andy Choi to share more about how to parent tech savvy kids.

Jun
19
2019
CNN

YouTube is weighing a number of changes to its handling of content for children following pressure from inside and outside the company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Jun
18
2019
The Wall Street Journal

At 13, kids are still more than a decade from having a fully developed prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making and impulse control. And yet parents and educators unleash them on the internet at that age—if not before—because they’re told children in the U.S. must be at least 13 to download certain apps, create email accounts and sign up for social media.

Apr
26
2019

Verizon Wireless is unveiling a new phone plan called "Just kids," meant to put controls like limited contacts, data, and phone calls in your hands, while getting a phone in your child's hand.