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Snapchat’s new parental controls aim to protect minors from sensitive content

Snapchat’s new parental controls aim to protect minors from sensitive content


The new Content Control filters for Family Center block ‘sensitive or suggestive’ content on a child’s Snapchat Stories or Spotlight feed.

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Three Snapchat screenshots on a yellow backdrop. The screenshots display the apps Family center feature for parental controls.
Snapchat’s latest safety feature allows parents to filter out sensitive content on their children’s devices.
Image: Snapchat

Snapchat has rolled out new parental Content Controls to help prevent minors from being exposed to potentially inappropriate content while using the app. Announced on Tuesday, parents and guardians can now access new content filtering capabilities through Snapchat’s Family Center supervision tool to block “sensitive or suggestive” content from appearing on their child’s Snapchat Stories or Spotlight feed.

The feature can be enabled by selecting “Restrict Sensitive Content” within the Family Center settings. Snap notes that enabling the feature won’t restrict the content your child can view elsewhere on the app outside of Snapchat’s Stories and Spotlight sections, such as Chat, Snaps, and Search.

Snapchat has publically released its Content Guidelines, which detail what would be blocked by the new filters

As for what content falls under being “sensitive or suggestive,” Snap has also published its Content Guidelines for community members which outline what would be restricted by enabling the filter, such as moderately suggestive language and glorification of violence. The guidelines also help Snapchat creators to determine what content is outright prohibited, not eligible for recommendation on Stories or Spotlight, and “sensitive” content that would be affected by the new content filters.

“We have always shared these guidelines with our media partners and Snap Stars,” said Team Snap in the blog announcement, adding that “by publishing these full content guidelines for anyone to read, we want to offer greater transparency into the stronger standards we set for public-facing content and into our eligibility requirements for distribution.”

Finally, Snap says it’s planning to add additional parental controls to Family Center that would allow guardians to monitor how their child interacts with My AI, Snapchat’s experimental chatbot. There’s no release date for this update, but it’s in Snap’s best interest to not dawdle — earlier this month, the My AI chatbot was criticized over messages exchanged with an adult user who signed up as a 13-year-old girl. My AI subsequently provided advice on how to “set the mood” for losing her virginity to a 31-year-old man, and how to conceal a bruise from child protective services.