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Snapchat Limits Friend Suggestions for Teen Accounts, Reveals Measures to Combat Drug Spread

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Snapchat Harry Potter

Highlights:

  • Popular social media app Snapchat is changing its friend recommendation feature.
  • The company is making it harder for adult strangers to find teens in its app by limiting friend recommendations.
  • The app now will not show the accounts of 13 to 17-year-olds in Quick Add.

Snapchat is introducing a new feature that will limit friend suggestions for teenagers on the platform. The feature is aim to keep users aged between 13 and 17 years away from strangers. Kids aged 13 to 17 years old will now only receive suggestions that have “a certain number of friends in common with that person” through Snapchat’s friend suggestion feature, called Quick Add.

The company claims that it has managed to increase the proactive detection rates by 390 percent which is actually an increase of 50 percent since the last public update in October. It’s unclear just how many mutual friends a user will need to have in common with a teen in order to appear on their Quick Add list, but Snapchat says it will help ensure users actually know each other in real life.

While the change will not prevent adults and teens from connecting at all, it could make it more difficult for strangers to find teens they don’t already know. This move comes as part of Snapchat’s efforts to combat the “fentanyl epidemic,” as the social network has been accused of failing to prevent “drug-related content.” According to the company, it has been enhancing its own AI to detect such content, as well as working with law enforcement agencies to improve its response time to law enforcement requests.

Snapchat New Initiative

Now Snapchat has expanded its work by bringing two new partners to the Heads Up portal, which will provide Snapchatters with important in-app resources:

  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), a nonprofit dedicated to creating safe, healthy, and drug-free communities
  • Truth Initiative- – a nonprofit dedicated to achieving a culture where all young people reject smoking, vaping, and nicotine.

Snapchat said proactive detection rates for drug-related content were up 390%, while 88% of all drug-related content was now proactively detected using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Snapchat’s law enforcement team has grown 74% to preserve and disclose data for requests from enforcement agencies.

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