Two New Snapchat Features That Save Users From Drugs On Social Media
Snapchat is taking big steps to ensure the safety of its users.(photo: snapchat doc)

JAKARTA - Big US technology companies Snapchat and TikTok are being criticized by the US Congress for their lax social media security in protecting teenagers from drug dealing.

Not only that, but they were also criticized about the algorithm that actually displays pornographic content, and other potential problems to teenagers.

Now, Snapchat has taken a big step towards ensuring user safety by launching the Quick Add feature to protect minors between the ages of 13 and 17 from abuse and drug use.

Safer Friends

Quick Add is basically a friend suggestion feature that allows users to add friends faster than searching for them by username. A user will appear in someone else's Quick Add list only if they have friends or connections in common.

For users who are younger than 18 years, in order to be found in Quick Add, minors must have a certain number of reciprocal connections with strangers to be allowed to add them to their network.

Identifying Bad Users

Cited from Digital Trends, Friday, January 21, during a congressional hearing last October, it was revealed that two young people in Minnesota, USA, died after consuming pills purchased from a reseller they met on Snapchat.

Unbeknownst to them, the prescribed painkiller is mixed with fentanyl, which can be a very dangerous drug.

To address this, Snapchat has taken steps to identify users selling drugs on its platform and will also report potential cases to law enforcement.

The company has also added the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) and the Truth Initiative to its Heads Up portal to fight drug use. The platform claims that the updated AI algorithm can identify illegal accounts more successfully, and even prohibits these users from creating new accounts.

Apps like Instagram have also been highlighted for suggesting drugs to minors and for loopholes in profile restrictions for minors.


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