Politics

AG Rutledge Urges TikTok and Snapchat to Give Parents More Control

LITTLE ROCK – This week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and a coalition of 44 attorneys general urged TikTok and Snapchat to give parents the ability to monitor their children’s social media usage and protect their children from online threats through parental control apps. These apps would empower parents to ensure that social media platforms are a safe space for their children.

“Parents must be able to control who their children talk to and especially what they see,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As the mother of a young daughter, I make sure that I am aware of the dangers on the internet, and I realize the importance for parents to have the ability to protect their children from those who want to do them harm online.”  

Research increasingly demonstrates the negative impact that social media can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children and teenagers.  These effects range from decreased self-esteem and greater body-image dissatisfaction to increased exposure to cyberbullying and sexual predation.  One app reported that in 2021 it had analyzed more than 3.4 billion messages and found:

  • 43.09% of tweens and 74.61% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation,
  • 68.97% of tweens and 90.73% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature,
  • 75.35% of tweens and 93.31% of teens engaged in conversations surrounding drugs/alcohol,
  • 80.82% of tweens and 94.50% of teens expressed or experienced violent subject matter/thoughts, and
  • 72.09% of tweens and 85.00% of teens experienced bullying as a bully, victim, or witness. 

Attorney General Rutledge was joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, 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.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

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