LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s ProtectMiChild Registry, which helps keep children safe from adult-oriented ads via text and email, is now offering protection on social media accounts as well.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the expansion of the registry Thursday.
ProtectMiChild.com is 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 expanded its coverage to include protection from ads on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter without affecting the way the apps are used.
Marketers that don’t comply with the Michigan Children’s Protection Registry Act are subject to fines and penalties.
“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,” Benson said in a statement. “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 – such as email addresses, a 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 ages of 18.
Michigan became the first state in the country to launch a child protection registry back in 2005.
Since then, about 900,000 contact points have been shielded from unwanted ads with adult content.