Michigan expands ProtectMiChild Registry to cover social media accounts

State has offered service since 2014

Child using phone. Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels (Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels)

Michigan is expanding a program that helps keep kids safe from certain ads in text and email to now include social media accounts.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the expansion of Michigan’s ProtectMiChild Registry, a free and secure program offered by the Secretary of State since 2014 that families and schools can use to block ads for products like alcohol, tobacco, pornography and online gambling from reaching children’s email inboxes, tablets, cell phones or instant messenger IDs.

Unspam, the company that provides governments with do-not-contact services, has now expanded its coverage to include protection from ads on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter without affecting the way the apps are used. Marketers that do not comply with the Michigan Children’s Protection Registry Act are subject to fines and penalties.

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“Many kids spend a great deal of time on social media apps and this update of the ProtectMiChild Registry can help shield them from unwanted advertising content that would otherwise reach them,” Secretary Benson said. “This registry has been protecting children from age-inappropriate messages in Michigan for more than 15 years and remains an important resource for families in our state.”

Concerned parents or schools may register the electronic addresses for any devices children use at ProtectMiChild.com.

The registry will block adult internet ads for all registered contact points (email address, smartphone number, instant messenger ID or social media usernames) for three years or until the youngest child with access to the contact point reaches the age of 18.

Once the information has been entered into the registry, companies that send messages that advertise or link to prohibited products or services are required to remove the registered contact email, phone number, IM or social media account within 30 days from their mailing lists. ProtectMiChild registrations may be renewed at any time for an additional three-year period.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.