Social Media Companies Sue to Block Ohio’s Social Media Parental Notification Act From Taking Effect

The State of Ohio has been sued by a company representing multiple social media platforms in order to block the Social Media Parental Notification Act from taking effect.

NetChoice, a “trade organization fighting to protect free expression and free enterprise online,” filed a lawsuit against the Buckeye State on Friday, January 5. The organization is representing social media companies Dreamwidth, Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor, Pinterest, Threads, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.

The organization argues that the Social Media Parental Notification Act, which is set to take effect on January 15, “violates the U.S. Constitution in several ways” and “endangers the online privacy and security of all Ohioans.”

Once in effect, the new law will require certain online companies – including all of which are represented in NetChoice’s lawsuit – to “obtain verifiable parental consent to contractual terms of service before permitting kids under the age of 16 to use their platforms.”

“Ohio lawmakers had good intentions, being concerned about the mental health and well being of young people. But unfortunately, the law they implemented, the Social Media Parental Notification Act, violates constitutional rights and rips away a parent’s authority to care for their child as they find appropriate—all while violating the safety and security of ALL Ohioans, especially kids and teens,” NetChoice writes on its website.

NetChoice is requesting that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio halt the legislation from taking effect while the lawsuit, NetChoice v. Yost, moves through the legal system.

Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted reacted to the lawsuit in a statement, calling it “cowardly but not unexpected.”

“In filing this lawsuit, these companies are determined to go around parents to expose children to harmful content and addict them to their platforms,” Husted added. “These companies know that they are harming our children with addictive algorithms with catastrophic health and mental health outcomes. Research has been very clear about what spending excessive time on these platforms is doing to our kids; they are struggling in school, being bullied, their sleep is being disturbed, they are dealing with body image issues, and much more. They need to drop this lawsuit so that we can move forward with the Social Media Parental Notification Act that makes parents part of the equation.”

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Kaitlin on X / Twitter.



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