Snapchat introduces new features for community protection

Snapchat wants to protect their community from online harms.

Snapchat introduces new features for community protection
Image: Snapchat

Snapchat has announced a range of new security features, including improvements to the account locking system and enhanced privacy settings for communication with friends. Snapchat wants to protect
their community from online harms.

These changes make it more difficult for strangers to contact users on the platform. This move comes in response to concerns about predators targeting teenagers on social media, which can lead to serious incidents such as sexual harassment.

One of the latest updates to address these issues is to improve the existing Snapchat user lockout tool. This will block new friend requests from intruders who have already been blocked by the user when they are sent using other accounts created on the same device. Snap said in a statement that this will help further limit the reach of other existing or new accounts created by the blocked account.

Snapchat will also remind users more frequently about which friends they have shared their location with in SnapMap. In addition, Snapchat is introducing a simplified location sharing feature to make it easier for users to control which friends can see their location. 

The update also includes pop-up messages alerting users if they receive
a message from someone who has been blocked or reported by other users,
or who is located in a region where the teenager's network of friends would not typically be found. Initially, this feature will be available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Nordic countries, and some parts of Europe.

Another new safety measure will prevent teenagers from sending or receiving friend requests if they have no existing friends in common with the person they are trying to add, and that person has been known to access Snapchat in locations that are often associated with fraudulent activity.

Uthara Ganesh Head of Public Policy-South Asia, said, "Our newest safety features are all about supporting genuine friendships, empowering teens to make smart choices, and ensuring that every Snapchatter feels secure and confident while using our app.”

These new tools are based on the desire to help Snapchat users communicate with their close friends in an environment that prioritizes their safety, privacy and well-being.