X, Meta, and TikTok sue Ohio over new law limiting kids’ access to social media

A trade association, including TikTok, Snapchat, and Meta, has initiated legal proceedings against the state of Ohio, challenging a forthcoming law mandating parental consent for children using social media apps. This legislation, embedded in an $86.1 billion state budget bill signed by Governor Mike DeWine, aims to safeguard children’s mental health by regulating their access to social media, which was deemed “intentionally addictive” and harmful by Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. The law, set to take effect on January 15, requires social media companies to obtain parental permission for users under 16 and disclose privacy guidelines to parents for content moderation.

The NetChoice trade group filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Republican Attorney General Dave Yost, seeking to block the law’s enforcement. The legal challenge contends that Ohio’s law infringes on free speech rights, is overly broad, and lacks clarity. NetChoice has previously succeeded in overturning similar restrictions in California and Arkansas. In response, Lt. Gov. Husted criticised the lawsuit, characterising it as “cowardly but not unexpected” and accusing the companies of attempting to bypass parents to expose children to harmful content, alleging that the platforms knowingly contribute to adverse health and mental outcomes for children.


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