May 2015

May 27th Tweet Storm: End Eavesdropping Barbie; A Salute to Susan Linn: Celebrating a Commercial-Free Visionary; Stop the Unfair Ads on YouTube Kids; The Best Week of the Year; Recommended Reading and Viewing

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May 27th Tweet Storm: End Eavesdropping Barbie

After generating grassroots support and media attention from around the world, we’re ramping up our campaign to stop Mattel's "Hello Barbie" doll.

Hello Barbie's embedded microphone captures children's voices and then uses WiFi to transmit those conversations over the Internet to a cloud server for voice recognition analysis. Mattel says it will use the information to "push data" back to children through the doll's built-in speaker.

Join us (and have some fun!) as we keep the pressure on Mattel with our #BarbieBugsUs Tweet Storm on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

Here's how to get in the action:

See you on the 27th!

A Salute to Susan Linn: Celebrating a Commercial-Free Visionary

As CCFC founding Executive Director Dr. Susan Linn embarks on her next adventure, please join us in Brookline, Massachusetts on June 13 to thank her for creating and sustaining CCFC for the past fifteen years. We’ll celebrate with an evening of commercial-free entertainment, great food, and salutes from Ana Lúcia Villela, Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, Michele Simon, Diane Levin, and, of course, Audrey Duck. 

For more info, please visit http://org.salsalabs.com/o/621/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1321908 

To participate from afar, please send notes, pictures, remembrances of Susan, or a short video message (no more than 90 seconds) to cfarris@mpwi.org.

Stop the Unfair Ads on YouTube Kids

In April, CCFC and other leading advocates filed a Federal Trade Complaint against Google for engaging in unfair and deceptive marketing practices on its new YouTube Kids app. Our complaint – which made headlines around the world – detailed the ways in which Google failed to adequately separate advertising from content on the app, thereby exploiting children’s developmental vulnerabilities and violating long-standing safeguards to protect kids.

Earlier this week, we updated the complaint after we discovered that Google was also deceiving parents by claiming that YouTube Kids was a safe place for young children to explore. We found a significant amount of harmful content on the app, including cartoons overdubbed with sexualized lyrics; graphic adult discussions about family violence, pornography, and child suicide; alcohol advertising; and videos that model unsafe behaviors such as playing with lit matches, tasting battery acid, and making a noose. We’ve documented some of findings in this video compilation

It’s more urgent than ever that the FTC put a halt to Google’s unfair and deceptive marketing. Please add your name to the growing call to make sure Google keeps its word and provides a truly safe media environment for kids.

The Best Week of the Year

Every year, I'm met with resistance from my kids, especially the older ones, but it always turns out to be one of the best weeks. We get along better than we normally do, there's less arguing and we spend a lot more time just talking to each other and laughing like I remember doing when I was younger.
Kristen Stanford

On May 4-10, thousands of people around the world celebrated Screen-Free Week. Thanks to all the organizers who rallied their families, schools, and communities to participate in SFW 2015! Check out our blog for a recap of this year’s activities, some aha moments, resources for reducing screen time all year long, and more.

Did you participate? We'd love to hear from you. Please send us your SFW stories and pictures. If you're on Facebook, you can also post them here.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar: Next year's celebration is May 2-8.

Recommended Reading and Viewing: