Snapchat Introduces New Safeguards To Protect Teenagers

Snapchat Introduces New Safeguards To Protect Teenagers

Snap has announced a new package of safeguards to further protect 13-17-year-old Snapchatters from potential online risks.

These safeguards, which will begin rolling out in the coming weeks, are designed to protect teens from being contacted by people they may not know in real life, provide a more age-appropriate viewing experience on the app’s content platforms and enable Snapchat to more effectively remove accounts that may be trying to market and promote age-inappropriate content through a new strike system and new detection technologies.

In addition, Snap is releasing new resources for families, including an updated parents guide at that covers the platform’s protections for teens and tools for parents, and a new YouTube explainer series.

“Snapchat is designed to be different to other apps and safety is at the heart of what we do,” said Tony Keusgen, managing director, Australia and New Zealand, at Snap Inc.

“Our focus is on giving Aussies a fun place to communicate with real life connections and that’s why we’ve always had extra protections for teens. But we know there is no finish line when it comes to keeping our community safe. As a messaging platform for real friends, our goal is to help Snapchatters communicate with people they actually know, and to ensure that the content they view on our app is informative, fun and age-appropriate.”

The new safeguards announced today include Safer Contact which requires teen Snapchatters to be existing Snapchat friends or phone book contacts with another user before they can begin communicating. Snapchat also makes it harder for a teen to show up as a suggested friend to another user outside their friend network.

In-app warnings will start rolling out soon. The new feature sends a pop-up warning to a teen if they are contacted by someone they don’t share mutual friends with. This message will urge the teen to carefully consider if they want to be in contact with this user and not to connect with them if it isn’t someone they trust.

Stronger Friending Protections is lifting the required number of mutual friends a user needs with someone on the platform for them to become friends.

Professor Amanda Third, co-director at the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University said: “When talking about anything in the online space, safety is of huge importance. It’s great to see Snap’s ongoing commitment to supporting its community, particularly teens, through these new measures to offer enhanced protection for younger users. Through my work, I know the importance of education, not only for young people themselves but also for parents and other caregivers. So I’d encourage families to try to learn as much as they can about the apps and technologies that are important to their teens”.

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