TL;DR: Snapchat has announced a series of measures to enhance safety for its younger users, aged 13-17. These features, set to roll out in the coming weeks, aim to protect teens from potential online risks, ensure age-appropriate content viewing, and facilitate the removal of accounts promoting inappropriate content. Additionally, new resources for families, including an updated parents guide and a YouTube explainer series, will be made available.
Snapchat has unveiled a range of initiatives dedicated to enhancing safety for its users aged 13 to 17. The platform’s primary focus remains on creating a secure and positive experience for Snapchatters, with the aim of facilitating meaningful communication among real friends and ensuring age-appropriate content.
Safer Contact and Interaction
To reinforce the authenticity of connections on the platform, Snapchat is introducing additional safeguards for 13-17 year olds:
- In-App Warnings: A new feature will send a warning to a teen if someone attempts to add them as a friend without mutual contacts or being in their phone book. This prompts the teen to consider whether they want to connect with the person.
- Stronger Friending Protections: Snapchat will now require a greater number of mutual friends in common based on the Snapchatter’s friend count before they can appear in search results. This measure aims to further limit interactions with unfamiliar users.
Stricter Enforcement Against Harmful Content
Snapchat maintains a zero-tolerance policy against illegal and harmful content, including sexual exploitation, violence, misinformation, and more. Immediate action is taken, including account bans, to protect the community from severe harms. Additionally, a new Strike System has been introduced to swiftly remove accounts promoting age-inappropriate content.
Educating Users on Online Risks
In response to the increasing prevalence of online communications and the associated risks, Snapchat is providing educational content within the app. This content aims to help users recognize signs of potential risks, such as catfishing or explicit image sharing, and offers important resources, including hotlines for assistance.
Collaborative Efforts for Safety
Snapchat has collaborated with organizations such as The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to inform and develop these new safety measures. The platform remains committed to ongoing improvements and will continue to introduce additional protections for teen Snapchatters and support for parents in the coming months.