Snapchat on Tuesday announced that new parental controls are coming soon to the social network. According to the company, there will be options to limit friend suggestions for teen users so that adult strangers won’t find these accounts easily.
As reported by Engadget, Snapchat will no longer show 13- to 17-year-old users’ accounts as suggestions to other users unless they have a certain number of friends in common. This won’t stop strangers from adding teenagers on the social network, but it will certainly make it harder for them to chat with teens they don’t know.
Snapchat explains on its official blog:
We recently added a new safeguard to Quick Add, our friend suggestion feature, to further protect 13 to 17 year olds. In order to be discoverable in Quick Add by someone else, users under 18 will need to have a certain number of friends in common with that person — further ensuring it is a friend they know in real life.
This move comes as part of Snapchat’s efforts to combat the “fentanyl epidemic,” as the social network has been accused of failing to prevent “drug-related content.” According to the company, it has been enhancing its own AI to detect such content, as well as working with law enforcement agencies to improve its response time to law enforcement requests.
Additionally, we continue to work with experts to regularly update the list of slang and drug-related terms we block from being visible in Snapchat. This is a constant, ongoing effort that not only prohibits Snapchatters from getting Search results for those terms, but then also proactively surfaces the expert educational resources in our Heads Up tool.
The company says that more details about the new parental controls will be revealed in the coming months.
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