Snapchat officially introduces parental controls through a new ‘Family Center’ feature – TechCrunch

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Snapchat launches its first parental controls today Announcement last October it was the development of tools that would allow parents to gain better insight into their teens’ use of the social networking app. The update follows the introduction of similar parental control features in other apps favored by teenagers, including Instagram, tick tock and youtube.

To use the new feature, called Family Center, a parent or guardian must install the Snapchat app on their own device to link their account to their teens via an opt-in invitation process.

Once configured, parents can see which accounts the teen has had conversations with in the app in the last seven days without being able to see the content of those messages. You can also view the teen’s friends list and report potential abuse to Snap’s Trust & Safety team for investigation. These are essentially the same features TechCrunch, which was reported earlier this year, is in development.

parents can Access to the new controls either through the app’s profile settings or by searching for “family center” or related terms in the app’s search function.

Snap notes that the feature is only available to parents and teens ages 13 to 18 because the app isn’t intended for younger users. The start takes place on the heels of elevated Print on social networks to better protect their underage users from harm, both in the United States and abroad. This has prompted major tech companies to introduce parental controls and other security features to fulfill with EU laws and expected US regulations.

Other social networks have introduced more extensive parental controls compared to what’s available in Snapchat’s Family Center at launch. For example, TikTok allows parents to control screen time, enable a “more restricted mode” for younger users, disable search, set accounts to private, restrict messages, and set who can see the teen’s likes and who can comment on their posts , among other things. Instagram also includes support for parent-set deadlines alongside parental control.

However, Snap points out that due to the app’s original design, it doesn’t require as many parental controls.

Photo credit: snap

By default, teenagers must be mutual friends to start communicating – so they are less likely to receive unwanted messages from potential predators. Friend lists are private and teens are not allowed to have public profiles. Additionally, teenage users will only show up as “suggested friends” or in search results if they have mutual friends with the app’s user, which also limits their visibility.

But parental concerns about Snapchat aren’t limited to fears of unwanted contact between teens and potentially dangerous adults.

At its core, Snapchat’s disappearing messages feature makes it easier for teens to engage in bullying, abuse, and other inappropriate behaviors like sexting. As a result, Snap has been the subject of several complain of grieving parents whose teenagers have committed suicide. They claim that Snap’s platform helped facilitate online bullying, which has been the case ever since prompted the company to revise its policies and restrict access to its developer tools. It also cut friend-finding apps that had encouraged users to share Your personal information with strangers – a common avenue for Child predator to reach youngervulnerable snapchat users.

Sexting was also an issue of several complain. Lastly a young girl launched a class action lawsuit against Snapchat which claims its designers have done nothing to protect themselves from the sexual exploitation of girls using its service.

What Family Center Looks Like for Parents and for Teens

Photo credit: snap

With Snapchat’s new Family Center, the company is giving parents insight into how teens are using the app — but not enough to completely prevent abuse or exploitation, as it favors preserving the teen’s privacy.

For parents, being able to see a teen’s friends list doesn’t necessarily help them understand if those contacts are safe. And parents don’t always know the names of all their teenagers’ classmates and acquaintances, only those of their close friends. Snap also doesn’t allow parents to prevent their teens from sending photos privately to friends, nor does it have a similar feature as implemented Apple’s iMessage technology which automatically intervenes to warn parents when sexually explicit images are sent in chats. (Although it accesses it now CSAI Matching Technology to remove known abuse material.)

Family Center also offers no control over whether and how their teen can interact with the app’s Spotlight feature, a TikTok clone of short videos. Parents also cannot control whether or not their teen’s live location can be shared on the in-app snap map. And parents can’t control who their teens can add as friends.

The company’s Discover section is also ignored by parental controls.

in the a congressional hearing last year, Snap was asked to defend why some content in its Discover section was clearly adult-targeted — like invitations to sexualized video games, articles about going to bars or those about porn, and other articles that didn’t sync with the app’s age rating seemed 13+. The new Family Center offers no control over this part of the app, which contains a significant amount of clickbait content.

We’ve found that this section consistently contains intentionally shocking photos and medical images – similar to the low-value clickbait articles and ads you’ll see scattered around the web.

At the time of writing, a quick scroll through Discover uncovered various articles meant to scare or alarm – at least three articles contained photos of giant spiders. Another was about a parent who murdered their children. One story focused on Japan’s suicide forest and another was about people dying in theme parks. There was also a story of a teacher who was caught “cheating” (his words) with a 12-year-old student – ​​a really disgusting way to title a child sexual abuse story. And there were several photos of rare diseases that should probably be left to a doctor and not shown to younger teenagers.

According to Snap, a future update will introduce “content controls” for parents and the ability for teens to notify their parents when they report an account or content to Snap’s security team.

“While we strictly moderate and curate both our content and entertainment platforms, and don’t allow unverified content to reach large audiences on Snapchat, we know that every family has different views about what content is appropriate for their teens and wants them.” giving them the ability to make those personal choices,” a Snap spokesperson said of the upcoming parental controls features.

The company added that it will add more controls after receiving more feedback from parents and young people.

Snapchat officially introduces parental controls through a new ‘Family Center’ feature – TechCrunch Source link Snapchat officially introduces parental controls through a new ‘Family Center’ feature – TechCrunch

The post Snapchat officially introduces parental controls through a new ‘Family Center’ feature – TechCrunch appeared first on California News Times.

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