Snapchat’s security gets upgraded to protect teens. So what’s the plan?

Snapchat’s security gets upgraded to protect teens. So what’s the plan?
Snapchat has come a long way since its launch more than a decade ago. The app can certainly be credited with popularizing the concept of media-messages, such as photos with captions, which is something that most of us do nowadays, through some of the best phones on the market.

The one thing that has ensured that the app survives these past, turbulent eleven years is popularity. That being said, as some of you probably know: popularity can be a double-edged sword. For where a social platform is popular and widely available, there will be malicious actors.

But Snapchat is aiming to have none of that: this is what matters. So much so, that the company even made a few videos that can explain its unique selling point to anyone interested (including parents). And that includes explaining how Snapchat is making its environment safer for teenagers.

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So! What is the social network doing in order to become safer for youngsters? For starters, two new features are being introduced:

  • In-App Warnings — A pop-up that users will see when they get a chat from someone that they don’t share many mutual friends with.
  • Friending Protection — A mandatory requirement for users in the age group of 13 to 17 to share at least several mutual friends before someone can show up in their Search results.

Basically, both of these serve one purpose: making teens rethink their goals of making friends that they may not know that well.

While Snapchat is super clear about prohibiting illegal and harmful content, such as pornography, self-harm or misinformation, the content in the platform is too numerous in order for absolute moderation to be a possibility.

As such, setting fail safes in place and ensuring that everyone is informed, is the right tactic.

Speaking of the latter, Snapchat is also releasing new in-app content that is there to educate its users on some of the risks they may encounter on social media in general, such as sextortion. The plan here is simple and effective: if you know about it, you can recognise it and when you do that: you can avoid it.

It’s always good to see massive social media apps doing things in order to improve safety on their platforms. The war with malicious actors isn’t going to end anytime soon, but through preparation and dedication: the battle just may have been won.
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