Content warning: This article deals with the topic of suicide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide: Call the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or Text 4HOPE to 741741 to speak to a crisis counselor. If you or anyone you know is the victim of a crime, call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or report it online at

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (WJW) – Kids may soon need parental permission to join social media.

The Social Media Parental Notification Act, proposed by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, would require companies like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat to have parental consent before allowing kids under the age of 16 to use their platforms. 

Husted held a news conference on Thursday about the proposal calling for social media companies and gaming platforms to come forward and work with them on the bill.

“Social media companies need to include parents in the decision making process,” he said. ” You can’t go around moms and dads with the manipulative algorithms collecting data on our children without our knowledge.”

The act would require that social media companies create a method to determine whether a child is a user under the age of 16, obtain verifiable parent or legal guardian consent before the child joins the platform and send confirmation of the consent to the parent or legal guardian at their home, he explained.

“If the user indicates they are under the age of 16, the following methods can be for verification: sign a digital form to consent to the terms of service, use a credit or debit card or other online payment system, call a toll free number, connect to a trained personnel via video conferencing or check a form on a government issued identification,” he said.

James Woods (Courtesy of Streetsboro Police Department/Streetsboro City Schools)

He was joined by Tim and Tamia Woods, who lost their son James late last year after he was a victim of sextortion online.

The 17-year-old, who was making plans for college, died by suicide on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The proposal also comes as Streetsboro Police investigate more recent cases of sextortion. The chief says in each case, the suspect convinces the victim to send sexually explicit photographs. and then immediately starts demanding money. The suspect threatens to send the pictures to the victim’s relatives and friends if they don’t send money.

The department released this screenshot of the possible suspect in the cases.

Streetsboro police release screenshot of sextortion suspect
The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained a screenshot of a suspect in one of the recent sextortion cases in Streetsboro. It’s a suspect police believe lives overseas.

Under the new state proposal, if a parent or legal guardian does not agree to allow their child to use the social media platform the company must deny the child access.

If there is any indication that the user is under the age of 16 the proposal suggests ways to verify a user’s age by using a credit or debit card, calling a toll-free phone number, connecting to trained personnel via video conference, or checking for a government-issued I.D.

If passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed into law by Governor DeWine, companies would have 90 days to comply.