Last fall I shared a video about my distaste for Snapchat. It wasn’t about the images being shared as much as some of the inappropriate things you could find on their Discover page. This week Snap Inc. has announced that they’re going to be cracking down on inappropriate images, clickbait, and fake news in their Discover feed.
Since the company is soon going to release shares to the public they’ve decided that their Discover page should be more serious about how users get their news. They will be asking publishers to use an age gate for images that might be deemed inappropriate for younger users. This gauge gate will not apply for folks who are older but could help parents keep some of our younger teens from seeing things we don’t want them to see.
Since the Discover page came out a couple of years ago it is becoming one of the main sources of news for the young users on Snapchat. This fact is another major reason Snap Inc. has decided to clean up some of the content. Publishers like MTV and Cosmopolitan have been accused of posting images that some call obscene. This will have to stop soon since the new regulations take effect this week and the age gate will apply as early as next month.
What Should Parents Know
This latest news confirms my concerns about the Snapchat discover page. Thankfully it’s news that includes fixing some of the problems I had with it. My recommendation is that parents keep tabs on what your kids are doing on Snapchat. Take a look at the Discover page every few days yourself and see what news articles are being shared and what images are being used to promote them.
It is also important to pay attention to how you get your news. Not checking facts and falling for clickbait isn’t just a problem with young social media users. This is something that is been in the news for all people lately. Lead by example and be sure to talk with your kids about how they use social media, where they get their news, and how they can find out if it’s accurate or appropriate before they share.