June 14, 2023
ProtectMIChild Registry keeps kids safe from adult ads online as summer break begins
LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today announced that the state’s ProtectMIChild Registry has expanded to include four more online platforms popular with kids and teens. As Internet Safety Month continues through June, Benson and other state officials encourage Michigan parents to add their children’s accounts to the free registry to block adult advertising content that may target kids as they spend more time online during the summer school break.
This month, the registry has expanded to include YouTube, TikTok, Discord, and Twitch accounts. In 2021, Benson partnered with Attorney General Dana Nessel to include Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter to the services covered under registry, which was created by the Michigan Legislature in 2005.
“As schools let out for the summer, parents can ensure their kids enjoy their time online protected from inappropriate advertisements,” Secretary Benson said. “The ProtectMIChild Registry empowers parents to take charge against adult content, giving them peace of mind while kids use their phones, tablets, and computers. Adding these new options expands the protection of the registry and helps this resource more effectively respond to our kids’ digital world today.”
“As a parent, I know how profound our concerns are when it comes to what our children are seeing and reading on the internet,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Parents are the first line of defense in protecting our children, and it’s important that we remain aware and engaged with our children’s online activity. I strongly encourage concerned parents to register the accounts and devices their children are using with the newly expanded ProtectMIChild registry, and to report any complaints they have with advertisers who are in violation of Michigan law.”
“Children should not be subjected to unwanted and dangerous internet trolling,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “ProtectMIChild Registry is a safe and secure way to help shield kids from harmful and inappropriate content on their phones and computers. I encourage every parent to be aware of and involved in what their children see and experience through the internet.”
The ProtectMIChild Registry is a free and secure program that keeps kids safe from adult-oriented advertising via social media, video streaming, text, and email. Parents can register their children’s social media and streaming platform handles, phone numbers, and email addresses to block ads for products like alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and online gambling. Accounts for these platforms can be registered without affecting the way the apps are used. Children’s personal information also remains private when they are registered.
Once a child is 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. The ProtectMIChild Registry is administered by Unspam, a company that provides do-not-contact services for state governments.
“Providing a safe space for children while they are out of school is important and extends to their internet presence,” said Alisha Meneely, government and community outreach director for Protect MI Child. “Internet Safety Month is the perfect time for parents to reflect on what they can be doing to protect them in that space. Sharing the registry as a resource for parents is a great way for summer program providers to do their part for the families they care for.”
Schools, libraries, and community partners who provide summer programing for children can register their own accounts, as well as help spread the word to families about this free resource. Park districts, libraries, and childcare centers can direct parents and guardians to ProtectMIChild.com for more information and to register their kids.
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.
Parents can learn more and sign children up for the ProtectMIChild Registry at ProtectMIChild.com.