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Benson, Nessel promote state internet safety resource for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

ProtectMiChild Registry keeps kids safe from adult ads online 

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel today encouraged Michigan parents and schools to sign up for the state’s ProtectMiChild Registry in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
ProtectMiChild is a free and secure program that keeps kids safe from adult-oriented advertising via social media, text, and email. Parents can register their children’s social media handles, phone numbers, and email addresses to block ads for products like alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and online gambling. Schools and organizations that work with children under 18 can also add their accounts. More than 920,000 numbers and accounts have been added to the Michigan registry.
In 2021, the registry was updated to allow parents to add their child's Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Benson and Nessel said they are working to add YouTube and TikTok to the ad blocking service in the coming months. 
“Michigan parents deserve to know their kids are safe while using their phones, tablets, and computers,” Secretary Benson said. “ProtectMiChild is a service my administration provides to help shield children from inappropriate ads for adult products and services. I hope every parent takes the opportunity to sign up for this simple and free resource to protect kids.”
“As a parent, I know how concerning it is to consider what our children are exposed to on the internet,” said Attorney General Nessel. “This registry offers one strong defense against content that has no business being advertised to our kids, and I strongly encourage concerned parents to register the accounts and devices their children are using. Compliance with the registry is mandatory for online advertisers, and our department will gladly enforce it to protect your family. Sign up, let the registry work for you.”
ProtectMiChild is administered by Unspam, a company that provides do-not-contact services for state governments. Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter accounts can be registered without affecting the way the apps are used and children’s information will remain private.
Once registered, the service will block adult internet ads for three years or until the child user turns 18. Registrations can be renewed at any time for an additional three-year period.
Companies that advertise or link to restricted products and services are required to remove registered accounts within 30 days. Marketers that do not comply with the Michigan Children’s Protection Registry Act are subject to fines and penalties.
Michigan became the first state in the nation to launch a child protection registry in 2005. Responsibility for the registry was transferred to the Department of State from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs by executive order in 2014.


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