Perhaps over the past couple days, you heard Cosmopolitan Magazine published a Snapchat channel, found in the "Discover" area, called “Cosmo After Dark." “Cosmo After Dark,” featured an explicit discussion of sex and other content aimed at adults. Through Snapchat’s content guidelines, the content was “age-gated,” meaning a user couldn’t access it if their account was registered as under the age of 18.
Recently, Cosmopolitan Magazine announced they are discontinuing its Snapchat channel after one edition. The content was met with severe backlash, as parents were rightly concerned about their children’s ability to access it even with the age restrictions in place.
On Thursday, Hearst, the parent company for Cosmopolitan Magazine, released a statement saying it would be ending the channel.
Read the full statement here:
“Cosmopolitan has always been known for empowering women in all aspects of their lives. With a highly popular Snapchat Discover channel, Cosmo launched an age-gated product on the platform for adults over the age of 18, which it is discontinuing after a pilot edition.”
So that means there's no more porn on Snapchat? Parents can stop worrying about the content their child is looking at on average of 13 times an hour, right? Unfortunately, NO. The truth is, there are no "Parental Controls" on Snapchat or Instagram for the matter. If your child is on Snapchat, they have and continue to have access to strangers, pornographic images, and videos. Many of the photos shared self-destruct after the viewer looks at them. It is nearly impossible for a parent to know what their child is sending or receiving on Snapchat.
It is Cyber Safety Cop's opinion that no one under the age of 18 should be on Snapchat.
How to protect your child:
- Password protect the app store so your child cannot download apps you don't approve.
- Turn on Parental Controls on every device and talk to your child about why porn is bad for them. Parenting in the Digital World will walk you through these difficult tasks.
- Use a content filter like OpenDNS.com to filter inappropriate websites.
- Go to a free Parenting in the Digital World seminar near you.
* Image courtesy of Protect Young Eyes