#parent | #kids | Snapchat will restrict ‘Quick Add’ feature on teen profiles as it fights drug menace on app

Snapchat has announced more details and measures as part of its efforts to curb the growing problem of drug menace on the platform. These measures are aimed at curbing the “Fentanyl Epidemic”, which has become a serious issue in the United States. And messaging apps such as Snapchat are an easy way for dealers to connect with teens for the sale of these illicit drugs.

Snapchat and other networking services have been in the news amid the accidental deaths of several US teens due to fentanyl-filled pills sold online. These counterfeit pills are reportedly sold on popular social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

As part of the new measures, Snapchat will restrict its quick add feature to limit strangers from finding minors on the app and adding them as friends. Profiles of users between 13 and 17 will no longer be discovered by someone they do not know in real life. Snapchat also said it is developing a new set of parental controls, though details of these will be revealed later on.

In a blog post, Snap Inc, which is Snapchat’s parent company, said that from now on adults will only see the profile of a minor user on the quick add page if they have a certain amount of mutual friends on the app. It should be noted that Snapchat does not let one see another user’s friends list before they add them.

Snapchat also said that it is actively working towards detecting and reporting drug-related activity on the app. They say they have increased their involvement with law enforcement and expanded their law enforcement operations team by 74 per cent. The company added that now 88 per cent of all drug-related content is proactively detected by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) which is an increase from their last update.

Additionally, Snapchat is working with experts to regularly update the list of slang and drug-related terms that should be blocked in the app. “This is a constant, ongoing effort that not only prohibits Snapchatters from getting Search results for those terms, but also proactively surfaces the expert educational resources in our Heads Up tool,” the post added.

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