Snapchat making it more difficult for users to become friends with teens they don't know

·1 min read


Snapchat's parent company, Snap Inc., on Tuesday announced new rules to limit the number of friends suggestions teens see when on the app, a move the company says is aimed at blocking drug dealers from adding minors as friends.

The company is changing the "Quick Add" feature, which recommends new friends on the platform, to exclude teens from 13 to 17 unless they have "a certain number of friends in common with that person," according to Snap's announcement post.

Snap also announced partnerships with anti-drug organizations to educate and provide resources for teens using its app. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Truth Initiative will provide content for the app, alongside anti-drug nonprofit Song for Charlie, which already works with Snapchat.

Snap's global head of platform safety Jacqueline Beauchere said in response to the announcement, "Snapchat isn't ideal for finding new people. It was designed for communicating with people whom you already know, your real-life friends."

Snap announced in October that it formed a partnership with S-3, a public health data firm, to look for drug dealers who might use Snapchat to sell drugs.

Some critics have expressed skepticism that these measures will work.

Samuel Chapman, whose son died after overdosing on pills he bought through Snapchat, said that the changes "are easy for drug dealers and for kids to get around," according to NBC.

"What I find with Snap Inc. is that they publicize one Band-Aid after another, but at the end of the day, you can still go online and get drugs in seconds," Chapman said.

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