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Snapchat has added new security features for teenage users.

(Qnnflash) — Snapchat has expressed its commitment to enhancing the safety measures of its application, specifically for adolescent users.

The parent company, Snap, announced on Thursday its plans to introduce a range of novel features and policies with the objective of enhancing the safety of users aged 13 to 17. These measures include limitations on friend suggestions and the implementation of a novel mechanism for the removal of content that is deemed inappropriate for individuals within this age group. Additionally, the company initiated the release of a collection of YouTube videos targeting parents, which provide information regarding the many features of their product. Furthermore, they introduced an enhanced website that outlines their rules on teen safety and parental control.

The introduction of these novel characteristics coincides with the growing demand from legislators, educators, and parents for social media companies to safeguard underage users against unsuitable content, unsolicited adult interactions, illicit drug transactions, and related concerns. During a Senate committee hearing in the autumn of 2021, a representative from Snap, along with counterparts from TikTok and YouTube, provided testimony regarding the issue of juvenile safety on social media platforms. The Snap executive made a commitment to introduce novel tools aimed at assisting parents in safeguarding the well-being of their adolescent children. Subsequently, Snapchat, along with other platforms, has introduced a range of novel measures aimed at enhancing the safety of teenagers and facilitating parental oversight.

The news made on Thursday is a continuation of Snapchat’s previous launch of the Family Center, which was introduced last year. The Family Center aims to provide parents with enhanced visibility into their teenagers’ communication activities on the messaging app. The application currently incorporates additional safety safeguards for teenagers, such as the prohibition of public profiles and the default deactivation of the Snap Map location-sharing feature for teenage users.

As a component of its Thursday feature rollout, Snapchat has implemented a new requirement for users aged 13 to 17. Specifically, these users must now possess a higher quantity of mutual friends with another account in order for said account to appear in Search results or be suggested as a friend. This alteration aims to prevent teenagers from adding unfamiliar individuals to the application with whom they have no real-life acquaintance. The application will also provide a pop-up notification to adolescents in the event that they are on the verge of creating an account that lacks any shared Snapchat friends or contacts from their phone book.

According to a blog post by the firm, it is crucial for adolescents to establish connections on Snapchat only with individuals they are personally acquainted with, such as friends, family members, or other individuals they trust in their offline lives.

Snapchat intends to implement a novel system of strikes for accounts that engage in the promotion of content deemed unsuitable for adolescent users within its Stories and Spotlight areas. These sections allow users to publicly share items on the application. In the event that the firm receives a report or identifies inappropriate content, it will promptly take action to delete the content and impose a strike on the account of the individual responsible for posting it. According to the platform, if a user accumulates an excessive number of strikes within a specified timeframe, their account will be deactivated. However, the platform does not specify the exact number of strikes that would result in a suspension.

Adolescent users will also be exposed to in-app educational content that addresses the potential hazards of online activities, such as catfishing. The latter involves coercing victims into sharing explicit photographs and subsequently extorting money from them. Furthermore, these users will be informed about appropriate actions to take if they encounter such situations, including the provision of helpline contact information for seeking assistance. The information designed in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) format will be prominently shown on Snapchat’s Stories platform, specifically triggered by specific search phrases or keywords.

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