DeWine continues to push for parental consent for social media



(The Center Square) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine continues to push for legislation to be included in the state budget requiring parental consent for youngsters to use social media platforms.

DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and mental health leaders called the proposed consent law one of the state’s mental health priorities on Monday.

“The evidence is building that social media platforms can have a negative impact on kids’ mental health and well-being,” DeWine said. “In addition, social media platforms can expose kids to predators who want to exploit them. If teens must get parental consent when they see an R-rated movie because of exposure to inappropriate content, it only makes sense that parents give kids permission to have social media accounts.”

Husted first pushed for the consent law in February, and DeWine included The Social Media Parental Notification Act in his proposed budget in March. It would require social media companies to create a method to determine whether the user is under 16, get verifiable parental or legal guardian consent if the user is under 16, and send written confirmation to the parent or legal guardian.

The legislation would include social media and online gaming companies such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, along with online shopping sites.

“The surgeon general and children’s health experts have concluded that these platforms are responsible for negative physical and mental health outcomes for a generation of our children and it is our responsibility to protect them by holding social media companies accountable for the consequences of what happens on their platforms,” Husted said.

If a parent or legal guardian refuses to consent, the company would have to deny the child access or use of the website, service, product or online feature.

As previously reported by The Center Square, half of parents believe their children have suffered because of social media use over the past year, and more and more parents say they are uncomfortable talking with their children about mental health, according to a new report.

The survey of parents, conducted by The Harris Poll for The On Our Sleeves Movement for Children’s Mental Health, questioned parents with children younger than 18 years about how they feel social media use has impacted their children’s mental health.

The poll showed 50% felt their child’s mental health has suffered because of social media use over the past year.

“Social media is largely seen by teens as a place for connecting and socializing with their peers, but research shows that nearly a quarter of teens say these platforms make them feel worse about their own life,” Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Lori Criss said.



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