Ellison: Parents should have more control over TikTok and Snapchat permissions

Courtesy of: Office of Minnesota Attorney General
Courtesy of: Office of Minnesota Attorney General

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellision and 44 other attorney generals across the United States are urging both Snapchat and TikTok to give parents the ability to monitor their kid's social media usage. 

“My job is to help all Minnesotans — especially the youngest and most vulnerable Minnesotans — live with dignity, safety, and respect,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Our children are unable on their own to navigate the real and potential harms of social media usage — and these harms can be very serious, up to and including self-harm.

Ellison points to recent research by a parental-control app called Bark.

  • 70% of tweens and 91% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature. 
  • 75% of tweens and 93% of teens engaged in conversations surrounding drugs/alcohol. 
  • 81% of tweens and 95% of teens expressed or experienced violent subject matter/thoughts. 
  • 72% of tweens and 85% of teens experienced bullying as a bully, victim, or witness. 
  • 43% of tweens and 75% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation. 

 “Parental control apps can alert parents or schools to messages and posts on your platforms that have the potential to be harmful and dangerous." Ellison said in a statement, "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.” 

Ellison says many social media platforms do not provide sufficient protection to children and teenagers. He also calls for investigations into other media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.