Africa-Press – Eritrea. Snapchat on Tuesday introduced its first parental control feature known as Family Center.
Minors won’t know they are being monitored and their parents will know what they are posting and with whom they are communicating.
It was introduced 10 months after a Snapchat executive told Congress it was developing tools to help parents keep teens and children safe.
Parents must first create their own Snapchat account, and teens must first opt-in and give permission for parents to use the feature.
“Family Center is designed to reflect the way parents engage with their teens in the real world. Parents usually know who their teens are friends with and when they are hanging out — but they don’t eavesdrop on their private conversations,” the company said in a blog post.
A revelation from a Facebook whistle-blower raised concerns about the company’s impact on younger users. Executives from Snapchat YouTube, TikTok and Instagram were questioned by Congress about the steps they take to protect teens.
Several apps have come up with parental control features for younger users.
Instagram, for example, offers tools that offer parents visibility into the accounts their kids follow or are followed by, and how much time they spend on the apps.
While this is Snapchat’s first foray into parental controls, it did have a few existing safety measures for young users, such as requiring teens to be mutual friends before they can start communicating with each other.
It prohibits them from having public profiles.
Snapchat plans to add more features to Family Center in the coming months. Some features will include the ability for parents to see which new friends their teens have added.
It will allow them to confidentially report concerning accounts that may be interacting with their child.
The feature will also give younger users the option to notify their parents when they report an account or content. The company said it consulted online safety experts in developing the features.
(Edited by V. Graham)