Snapchat, powered by its parent company, Snap, is taking significant strides toward promoting a safer online environment for its younger users. The social media app giant announced on Thursday its plans to launch an array of protective measures for users aged between 13 and 17 in response to growing concerns over online risks. These safeguards, which will be deployed globally, will not only ensure safer interaction and search but will also curate age-appropriate content for its teenage users.
Snap's proactive approach to user safety will introduce an in-app warning feature that sends a notification to a teen user when an unknown person attempts to add them as a friend. The warning will trigger if the new friend request comes from someone who doesn't share mutual contacts with the user or if the person isn't already in the user's contact list. This feature will serve to alert young users of potential online risks and encourage them to practice caution when interacting with strangers online.
Another significant measure is the implementation of a new 'Strike System' to deal with accounts that display or promote age-inappropriate content. The system will automatically remove these accounts, whether they are identified internally or reported by other users. Accounts that continuously attempt to bypass rules will face permanent bans under the new system and rules, thereby maintaining a safer platform for Snap's younger audience.
Further enhancing its commitment to youth protection, Snap will also roll out content developed in conjunction with Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC). This initiative will provide local resources to address crucial topics such as mental health, responsible content sharing, and online safety. By providing these resources, Snapchat aims to equip its young users with the knowledge to navigate the digital landscape safely and responsibly.
In a statement, Uthara Ganesh, Snap Head of Public Policy-South Asia, emphasized the company's dedication to user safety. She stated, "We are 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." This latest effort from Snapchat marks a significant step in social media platforms taking responsibility for their users' safety, especially the younger generation. By empowering teens to make informed decisions, Snapchat is leading the charge in creating a safer digital world for everyone.