Cheltenham mum's campaign to change the law on social media goes to parliament

A Cheltenham mum's petition to change the law on access to children's social media accounts will now be debated in parliament, after she gathered over 120,000 signatures just before the deadline.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
Ellen Roome wants to create #JoolsLaw so that tech companies have to allow parents access to their children's social media accounts.

Gloucestershire mum and businesswoman, Ellen Roome, has successfully managed to reach 100,000 signatures on her petition to change the law on children's social media accounts.

Just in time for the deadline of midnight on Wednesday 29 May 2024, the number of signatures — which at the time of writing is 122,940 and rising — means that Ellen's petition will be now considered for a parliamentary debate, once it resumes after the general election.

This means that the crucial topic of granting parental or guardian access to children's social media accounts by social media providers, both when the child is alive and if they are deceased, and a change to the current laws, will now be debated.

Ellen's son Jools passed away suddenly in 2022 when he was just 14 years old. Ellen, and Jools's father Matthew Sweeney don't know why he died, but they believe his social media accounts may hold clues.

So far, they have been denied access to his accounts without a court order, and Ellen's petition aims to remove this legal barrier for parents with the proposed Jools' Law, which, if passed, will allow parents and guardians to access their children's account without needing a court order.

Under the current law, parents have no legal right to see whether their child was being bullied or threatened, was looking at images or other harmful content or searched for help with mental health problems.

Ellen's petition has been widely shared across social media channels and national press, even gaining support from celebrities such as mental health ambassador and former boxer, Frank Bruno.

Ellen said: 'As a parent, we should have the right to view his social media. We don't. We think this is wrong.

'We should be able to see what he was watching and what/who could have put ideas into his head to end his life. All parents should have this right, whether their children are alive or dead.'

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, please contact Samaritans for help and advice on 116 123 or

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