Banning children from using social media without parental consent is back in the Ohio Senate budget version

Gov. Mike DeWine (R) enacted a ban on minors under the age of 16 using social media without parental permission is back in the Ohio Senate state budget version after it was scrapped by the House of Representatives.

Some other states are considering such bans, although the mechanisms for proving parental consent are still under discussion.

State officials who support the ban say it’s about protecting children’s mental health and protecting them from social media addiction and cyberbullying. Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted (R) said social media companies need to find a way to obtain verifiable parental consent.

“We gave all companies an opportunity to have their say,” Husted said. “I think they’re finally realizing that this is happening, that other states are doing it, that we’re doing it, and that they’re starting to get involved now to make sure we’re doing it in a way that they can.” live together.”

The US surgeon general has said that children under the age of 13 should not be allowed on TikTok and Instagram as these platforms can provide a “distorted environment”.

A ban on children under the age of 16 using social media has been proposed in the US House of Representatives, and a Senate bill would ban children under the age of 13 from accessing these platforms. Husted said he’d like to see a nationwide ban, but Congress hasn’t commented on it.

“If you don’t make it, then we’re going to take the lead and take it state by state until we force the issue,” Husted said. “Or hopefully the companies will.” I’ll beg the federal government to fix this and give them a consistent standard.”

The ban allows the Attorney General to bring civil lawsuits against social media and gaming platforms that don’t comply. House Finance Committee Chairman Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) said in April that it was removed because of concerns the AG might act but not the parents themselves.

Social media companies have said they already have safeguards in place, pointing out that bans would force parents and children to give their driver’s licenses, date of birth and other personal information to these companies for verification, which for some people is a… could pose a problem.

Utah and Arkansas have similar social media bans on minors. Last year, California passed a social media privacy preference law for children under 18, prohibiting them from profiling children or using their information in ways that could harm their mental health.

Copyright 2023 The Statehouse News Bureau.