CARSON CITY (KTNV) — On Tuesday, a press release from the office of attorney general Aaron D. Ford said Ford announced he has joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general in urging TikTok and Snapchat to give parents the ability to monitor their children’s social media usage and protect their children from online threats using parental control apps.
“While social media can be entertaining, it can also have significant negative impacts on our children, especially those who are too young to understand the risks or how to best protect themselves,” Ford said. “Social media companies need to give parents all the tools they need to help protect their children, and this includes parental control and monitoring apps. If they take this step, TikTok and Snapchat can help save lives and protect the mental health of our children.”
The press release continues saying research increasingly demonstrates the negative impact that social media can have on the physical, emotional and mental well-being of children and teenagers.
As the coalition of attorneys general note in their letter, “Parental control apps can alert parents or schools to messages and posts on your platforms that have the potential to be harmful and dangerous. Apps can also alert parents if their child manifests a desire for self-harm or suicide. On other platforms where these apps are allowed to operate appropriately parents have received notifications of millions of instances of severe bullying and hundreds of thousands of self-harm situations, showing that these apps have the potential to save lives and prevent harm to our youth.”
The release says social media platforms already engage in some content moderation and operate under some community guidelines, but these are not always sufficient to protect children and teenagers who are particularly vulnerable to online threats, especially with regard to direct messaging. Parental control apps empower parents to be full partners with the platforms to maintain a safe space online for their children.
The office of the attorney general said Ford was joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.