January 24, 2017

STATEMENT: Snapchat Improves Policy on Graphic, Risqué Stories

Washington DC – Monday Snapchat updated its guidelines for Discover publishers to discourage click bait and announced that in February Snapchat will give publishers a tool that allows them to age-gate content, or stop minors from seeing specific content. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) declares this change a victory for those advocating for a safer Snapchat environment and calls on Snapchat to take further action.

“Snapchat’s decision to enable age-filtering by Discover publishers comes after significant pressure from its users,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “This is a victory for the thousands of individuals who have taken action through NCOSE’s Dirty Dozen List—on which Snapchat is targeted as a mainstream facilitator of sexual exploitation—as well as other activism campaigns that are calling for Snapchat to take responsibility for creating a safe user environment. We are grateful that Snapchat has made this policy improvement, but there is much more work for Snapchat to do. For instance, we ask that Snapchat mandate that publishers shield minors from sexually graphic stories and that Snapchat institute improved reporting processes for users to report accounts sending sexually explicit images within the app.”

“Snapchat is a member of NCOSE’s Dirty Dozen List because its business model facilitates sexting, the sharing of self-produced child sexual abuse images (i.e. child pornography,) and profits from online prostitution and monetized nude images via the built-in feature Snapcash. Snapchat can take a stand against sexual exploitation by making simple improvements to reporting systems, and establishing robust monitoring of Discover and featured stories.”

In order to learn more, and to email Snapchat executives to ask them to improve reporting systems, visit here: http://endsexualexploitation.org/snapchat/

Other prominent campaigns against Snapchat include one Millennial’s petition to allow users to opt-out of sexually graphic Discover stories which received over 20,000 signatures in one week.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more. The organization changed its name from Morality In Media to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation early in 2015 to better describe the organization’s scope and mission, which is to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.

Further Reading