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ProtectMiChild registry expands to cover social media accounts

Kindergarten boy looking at laptop computer during first day of virtual learning online school.
Thomas Park

The Michigan Department of State is expanding its ProtectMiChild registry to filter adult-oriented ad content on social media networks.

The list already allows parents to remove inappropriate ads for products like gambling and alcohol from their children’s email inboxes and texts.

Parents can choose to renew their child’s registration every three years until they turn 18.

Alisha Meneely is with Unspam, the group maintaining the service for the state.

“How this works is by law, by Michigan law, these types of marketers, these adult marketers have to scrub their list with our list once a month,” she said.

Companies who continue to send ads for products like alcohol or gambling to registered children’s accounts will face fines and other penalties.

Michigan Department of State spokesperson Traci Wimmer said it’s important for a tool like this to keep up with the times.

“But you know the reality is children are spending an incredible amount of time on social media, and this is a place that has heavy marketing, and this is another avenue in which those marketers are able to send unwanted or unnecessary content to children,” Wimmer said.

Michigan, alongside Utah, is one of two states with this kind of child protection registry.

It has been in effect for more than 15 years.

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