Snapchat Cracks Down on Stranger Contact with Teens for Increased Safety

Joseph Adebayo

Snapchat is taking new steps to enhance user safety by implementing stricter controls to prevent strangers from contacting teenage users on the platform. The company is introducing improved warnings for “suspicious” contacts and will proactively block friend requests from accounts that may be linked to scams.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

Snapchat has previously made efforts to discourage teenage users from connecting with strangers on the app, but the latest warnings utilize advanced signals to identify potential scammers. Additionally, the app will block friend requests from users who do not share mutual friends with the recipient and have a history of accessing Snapchat in locations associated with scamming activity. The block feature is also being upgraded to automatically block new accounts created on the same device as a previously blocked user.

These updates are aimed at addressing sextortion scams that frequently target teens on social media platforms, as well as addressing other safety and privacy concerns. Snapchat has faced scrutiny from lawmakers over teenager safety issues, including sextortion and the ease with which drug dealers have been able to contact teenagers on the app. These changes come soon after a detailed investigation by Rolling Stone into how Snapchat contributed to a teenage overdose epidemic in the country.

Rolling Stone’s article mentions features like Snapchat’s Snap Map and “quick add” recommendations, both of which have been criticized for potentially exposing teens to safety risks. Snapchat has made changes to these features in recent years, such as limiting quick add suggestions between teen and adult accounts in 2022. The company is also simplifying location-sharing settings and increasing reminders for users to carefully consider how they share their location within the app.

TF Summary: What’s Next

Snapchat’s recent updates focus on enhancing user safety, particularly for teenagers, in response to growing concerns about sextortion scams and other safety issues on the platform. The company is taking proactive measures to protect users from potentially harmful contacts and is making adjustments to key features that have raised safety concerns in the past. This demonstrates Snapchat’s willingness to address safety and privacy issues in response to ongoing scrutiny and criticism from lawmakers, media, and users.

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By Joseph Adebayo “TF UX”
Joseph Adebayo is the user experience maestro. With a degree in Graphic Design and certification in User Experience, he has worked as a UX designer in various tech firms. Joseph's expertise lies in evaluating products not just for their technical prowess but for their usability, design, and consumer appeal. He believes that technology should be accessible, intuitive, and aesthetically pleasing.
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