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Snap Inc. announces new features to safeguard 13 to 17-year-olds online

Snap Inc. stated that as a messaging platform for real friends, the goal is to help Snapchatters communicate with people that matter to them and to ensure that the content they view on the app is informative, fun and age-appropriate.

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Snap Inc. announces new features to safeguard 13 to 17-year-olds online

Snap Inc. has announced new features to protect 13 to 17-year-olds from potential online risks.

Snap Inc. stated that creating a safe and positive experience for Snapchatters is a top priority and the platform is always trying to do more to help keep the growing community safe.

Snap Inc. said, “As a messaging platform for real friends, the goal is to help Snapchatters communicate with people that matter to them and to ensure that the content they view on the app is informative, fun and age-appropriate.”

The features, which will begin to roll out in the coming weeks, are designed to :

1) Protect teens from being contacted by people they may not know in real life

2) Provide a more age-appropriate viewing experience on the content platform

3) Enable more effective removal of accounts that may be trying to market and promote age-inappropriate content through a new strike system and new detection technologies

New features are

In-App Warnings: Launching a new feature that sends a pop-up warning to a teen if someone tries to add them as a friend when they don’t share mutual contacts or the person isn’t in their contacts. This message will urge the teen to carefully consider if they want to be in contact with this person and not to connect with them if it isn’t someone they trust.

Stronger Friending Protections: It is already required for a 13-to-17-year-old to have several mutual friends in common with another user before they can show up in search results. The bar is getting raised to require a greater number of friends in common based on the number of friends a Snapchatter has – with the goal of further reducing the ability for teens  to connect with people they may not already be friends with.

Across Snapchat, illegal and harmful content such as sexual exploitation, pornography, violence, self-harm, misinformation, and much more is prohibited, as per the company statement.

New Strike System for Accounts Promoting Age-Inappropriate Content

While Snapchat is most commonly used for communicating with friends, Snapchat offers two content platforms – Stories and Spotlight – where one can find public Stories published by vetted media organizations, verified creators, and other Snapchatters. On these public content platforms, there applies additional content moderation to prevent violating content from reaching a large audience.

“To help remove accounts that market and promote age inappropriate content we recently launched a new Strike System. Under this system, we immediately remove inappropriate content that we proactively detect or that gets reported. If an account is repeatedly trying to circumvent rules, they will be banned,” as per the company statement.

Uthara Ganesh, Head Public Policy-South Asia, Snap Inc. said, “Snapchat is designed to have fun and communicate openly with your closest friends. At Snap, nothing is more important than the safety of our users and we believe that design plays a powerful role in ensuring this.  Our latest features are thoughtful in app features that are designed to empower teens to make  smarter choices, and talk openly about staying safe online. We're committed to making sure Snapchat is a place where you can be creative and stay safe and above all, the safety and well-being of our community in India, which includes over 200 million users, is our top priority.”

Shefali Shah, Movie and Theatre Artist and Celebrity Mom, said, “As a mother and an actor, I understand the power and impact of our digital choices. It's crucial that we guide our teens to make thoughtful decisions while navigating the online world. Snapchat's commitment to safety by design is commendable, and its new safeguards empower us as parents to strike that balance between trust and responsible oversight. Having open conversations with our teens about tools available to help keep them safe is critical.”

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In-App Warnings. Stronger Friending Protections Online risks 13 to 17-year-olds Snap Inc new features
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