Very Anti-Social Media: A new law could make social media more accountable.

PUBLISHED JAN. 3, 2024 on The Daily Standard

A new law requiring parental consent for kids under 16 to create new accounts on social media platforms is set to take effect on Jan. 15.

The Social Media Parental Notification Act was approved last year as part of the state’s biennial operating budget.

Under the law, social media companies must obtain a parent’s or guardian’s permission for children to sign up for social media and gaming apps or face civil penalties.

The law specifically names YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, but other social media and online gaming/activity companies must also comply with the law. It does not include e-commerce and online shopping.

In addition, the law includes a requirement for companies to provide parents with their privacy guidelines to show them what will be censored or moderated content on their child’s profile.

“It is a fact that tech companies are targeting children with addictive algorithms on social media, and it is negatively affecting their physical and mental health,” said Lt. Governor Husted, who spearheaded the legislation. “This new law gives parents a greater say in if, how and when their children use these platforms.”


U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory on social media and youth mental health in May 2023, sounding the alarm and stating there are ample indicators that social media can pose a risk to the mental health and well-being of kids and adolescents.

The advisory stated that social media use by young people is nearly universal, with up to 95% of young people ages 13-17 reporting using a social media platform and more than a third saying they use social media “almost constantly.”


“With the recent statement from the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy declaring youth mental health as the defining public health issue of our time and urging policymakers to help ensure strong safety standards to help protect adolescents from exposure to social media’s harmful content and excessive use, Governor (Mike) DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted took action,” said Frances Gerbig, executive director of the Prevention Action Alliance in July 2023. “The establishment of the Social Media Parental Notification Act is a win for Ohio’s children and families and will serve as the catalyst for conversations regarding social media best practices for children and youth.”  Read more here.