New state law gives parents control over children’s social media
Published 12:00 am Friday, January 5, 2024
Parental notification by Social Media Operators act takes effect Jan. 15
COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is making the public aware of a new state law giving parents oversight of their children’s use of social media websites as well as online services and products aimed at children.
The Parental Notification by Social Media Operators Act, approved by the General Assembly in July, will take effect on Jan. 15.
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“This law aims to give parents more control over their children creating new social media accounts,” Yost said. “So just like any other time, if you feel like you’ve been wronged by a company, we take those complaints and work to resolve any issues – this is no different.”
The Ohio Attorney General is charged with enforcement of this law, which applies to websites, services and products that are targeted to children or reasonably expected to be accessed by children.
Beginning Jan. 15, operators must obtain parental consent before establishing accounts for children under the age of 16. They also must present parents with a list of censoring or content moderation features.
When consent is granted, operators must then send written confirmation of the account to the parent or legal guardian. When consent is not given, operators must deny the child access to the platform.
In cases in which operators fail to provide notification or a parent wishes to terminate a child’s access, parents should contact the website operator who then has 30 days to terminate the child’s access. If parents are unsuccessful in the account being deleted, they are encouraged to file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at OhioProtects.org.
The new law does not require operators to notify parents about accounts created before Jan. 15.
OhioProtects.org features frequently asked questions regarding the law and offers additional resources for parents seeking information on the upcoming regulations.