Snapchat, the popular multimedia messaging app, is reinforcing its commitment to the safety of its teenage users by unveiling a range of new safeguards and educational resources.
“To create a secure and positive environment for its young community, Snapchat is introducing several features designed to protect 13-17-year-olds from potential online risks,” the platform stated via a blog post.
In-App Warnings for Safer Contact
Snapchat recognizes that most teenagers use the platform to interact with close friends. To enhance this experience, Snapchat is introducing in-app warnings for teenagers when they attempt to add someone as a friend who doesn’t already share mutual friends or isn’t in their contacts.
These pop-up alerts will prompt teens to carefully evaluate their decisions and refrain from connecting with individuals they don’t trust.
Stronger Friending Protections
In addition to in-app warnings, Snapchat is raising the bar for friending protections. To appear in Search results or as a friend suggestion for a 13-to-17-year-old user, individuals will now be required to have a greater number of mutual friends in common, depending on the user’s existing friends list.
This enhancement is intended to further reduce the possibility of teenagers connecting with strangers.
Cracking Down on Inappropriate Content
Snapchat is maintaining its strict stance against illegal and harmful content, including sexual exploitation, pornography, violence, self-harm, and misinformation.
“The platform enforces a zero-tolerance approach towards users who attempt to engage in severe harm. Such accounts are immediately banned, and measures are applied to prevent the account holder from returning to Snapchat. In some cases, these accounts may also be reported to law enforcement.”
New Strike System for Age-Inappropriate Content
Snapchat’s content platforms, Stories and Spotlight, offer public content from media organizations, verified creators, and Snapchatters. To combat accounts that promote age-inappropriate content, Snapchat has implemented a new Strike System.
“Accounts found repeatedly violating content guidelines will face bans.”
This system ensures that users are protected from inappropriate material.
Education About Online Risks
With the increasing prevalence of online communication, teenagers face various online risks, including catfishing, financial sextortion, and the sharing of explicit images.
Snapchat is releasing new in-app content to educate its users about these risks and provide essential resources for assistance.
This content will be featured on the Stories platform and will be surfaced to Snapchatters using relevant search terms or keywords.
“Snapchat collaborated with The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) to inform several of these product safeguards and worked with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to develop educational resources.”
Support for Parents
As part of its commitment to safety, Snapchat is offering resources for parents. An updated parents guide is available at parents.snapchat.com, covering the platform’s protections for teens and tools for parents.
Additionally, Snapchat is launching a new YouTube explainer series to help parents better understand and navigate the app.