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Snapchat Cyberbullying(1 Post)
I am someone who regularly uses Snapchat. It’s a fun place to send silly photos and private messages with friends. However, I am aware of Snapchat’s flaws. There is one flaw on Snapchat that I’ve noticed, how easy it is to send nasty messages with no consequences. I know you can report snaps people send you or post on their story really easily but for messages there’s nothing. This is very worrying considering in 2019, Snapchat was the most used social media app for children between 12-15 (https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/schools/1668454/social-media-darker-side-apps/amp/).
For anyone who doesn’t use Snapchat, screenshooting messages is risky due to the fact that it notifies the person. Hence why people are less likely to do so and speak out. That is why I started a petition to encourage Snapchat to include a report button for nasty messages (*https://www.change.org/p/snap-inc-include-an-option-to-report-messages-on-snapchat). Unfortunately I have not been very successful with signatures despite my best efforts.
I have posted about this on Mumsnet because with the rise in social media, especially during a pandemic where it’s risky to leave the house our children are at risk of very poor mental health. The last thing they need is to be bullied on an app that will help them keep in touch with their friends where the bully will potentially not face any consequences.
I know petitions do not always work which is why I also have another idea. Ofcom will be given power over social media content in the UK. This means they can ensure social media apps and websites are responsible for protecting people from harmful content such as violence, terrorism, cyber-bullying and child abuse (https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/technology-51446665). If we all start contacting Ofcom about the lack of a report button on Snapchat and how devastating the consequences are (search for “nasty Snapchat messages” on google images for examples of how vile people can be), potentially the developers of Snapchat may implement said button because if they didn’t they could lose a lot of UK Snapchat users which would be bad for their business. This won’t only protect children from cyberbullying but from filthy predators too.
I’ve had my fair share of vile messages on Snapchat and I think it’s about time Snapchat did more to protect its young users considering they claim to care about mental health. I’m not the biggest fan of Instagram or Facebook but atleast you can report messages on them. We might not be able to defeat Coronavirus but we can make the world a little bit nicer online for our children and the next generation
Thank you for reading and stay safe
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