- Dana Alpert
- Legislative/Communications Assistant
SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - Woodland Hills) announced that he has selected the Organization for Social Media Safety, headquartered in West Hills, as the 2022 California Nonprofit of the Year for Assembly District 45.
“The Organization for Social Media Safety has done extraordinary work serving our community’s young people, particularly as they are learning how to navigate an increasingly digital world,” said Assemblymember Gabriel. “Their innovative programs and services have made social media platforms safer for everyone. I am proud to recognize them as the 2022 Nonprofit of the Year for the West San Fernando Valley.”
The Organization for Social Media Safety is a nonprofit, consumer protection organization focused on social media and protecting children online through education, advocacy, and technology development. The Organization started in 2016 when cofounder Ed Peisner’s then 14-year-old son, Jordan, was assaulted and the attack was filmed and uploaded to social media. Peisner resolved to make sure that no other child or family had to endure such an ordeal. He ultimately learned that what we now call social media-motivated violence—attacks committed for the purpose of being filmed and distributed on social media to gain internet notoriety—were doubling every year. To address this trend, Peisner and co-founder Marc Berkman ultimately drafted Jordan’s Law, the nation’s first state law to deter social media-motivated violence.
Ed and Marc saw a very urgent need for an organization that had the vision, capacity, and capability to fight back against these dangers; an organization that recognized that while social media may be here to stay, it could actually become safe with the right interventions. The Organization for Social Media Safety now works to prevent and deter social media-related cyberbullying, violence, human trafficking, harassment, hate speech, and more through school and foster youth programs, family and corporate presentations, technology development, and advocacy efforts.
"Thank you to Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel for selecting the Organization for Social Media Safety as the 2022 Nonprofit of the Year, recognizing our work to make social media safer in the San Fernando Valley and around the world," said Marc Berkman, CEO of the Organization for Social Media Safety. "Millions, especially teens, are being harmed by the dangers of social media, which include cyberbullying, hate speech, human trafficking, and substance abuse, and we are proud that our educational, advocacy, and technology programs are making a real difference in protecting so many families in our community."
Amid increasing concerns about the role of social media in spreading bigotry, disinformation, and conspiracy theories, Assemblymember Gabriel, who serves as Chair of the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, is advancing legislation to protect kids online and bring much-needed transparency and accountability to the role of social media platforms in amplifying extreme and dangerous content. The first-of-its-kind measure, the Social Media Transparency and Accountability Act of 2021 (Assembly Bill (AB) 587), would require social media platforms to publicly disclose their content moderation policies regarding online hate, disinformation, extremism, harassment, and foreign interference, as well as key metrics and data regarding the enforcement of those policies. The bill is set to be heard in Senate Judiciary Committee this month.