Snapchat introduces new safety features to protect teens from online harm

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Social media platform Snapchat on Tuesday introduced a suite of new safety features to safeguard teens and the broader community from online harm.

The new features include expanded in-app warnings, enhanced friending protections, simplified location-sharing, and blocking improvements.

“Young people across India love spending time on our platform, and we are dedicated to making it a safe and positive place for everyone, especially teens,” Uthara Ganesh, Head of Public Policy-South Asia, Snap, said in a statement.

Launched last year, the company has now expanded the ‘in-app warnings’ feature to incorporate new and advanced signals.

Teens will now see a warning message if they receive a chat from someone who has been blocked or reported by others, or is from a region where the teen’s network isn’t typically located — signs that the person may be a scammer.

This feature will be made available in the US, UK, CA, AU, NZ, Nordics, and parts of Europe.

Previously Snapchat had announced teens will not be suggested in Quick Add or Search unless they have multiple mutual connections in common with the other person.

The platform has now added new ‘friending safeguards’ that will make it much harder for strangers to find and add teens.

“We will prevent delivery of a friend request altogether when teens send or receive a friend request from someone they don’t have mutual friends with, and that person also has a history of accessing Snapchat in locations often associated with scamming activity,” the company said.

This feature is currently available in a select few countries and will be introduced in a more localised form in India soon.

Snapchat users are sent regular reminders to check their account security and privacy settings, and they can only share their location with people they are friends with. Now the platform has introduced more frequent reminders to make sure that “Snapchatters are always up to date on which friends they’re sharing their location with on the Snap Map”.

To prevent bullying and potential repeat harassment, the company has introduced improvements to its ‘blocking’ tools. Blocking a user will also now block new friend requests sent from other accounts created on the same device, to further limit outreach from other existing or new accounts created by the blocked account.

–IANS

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