Parents Should Ban Kids From "Particularly Addictive" Snapchat, Argues Children's Commissioner

By Tom Pritchard on at

There's always a concern when it comes to kids and technology, whether it's video games, television, the internet, or social media apps. That last one is the latest concern to do the rounds, with the UK Children's Commissioner claiming parents should ban children from using Snapchat for being "particularly addictive".

UK Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield made the claim when speaking to LBC Radio, taking particular issue with the app's Streak feature. Streak praises the user for using Snapchat for three consecutive days, with the most active users getting a special emoji next to their name. Anyone wanting to keep up the streak has to log in everyday and send a message.

It's hardly a rare feature in the world of apps, but presumably Longfield's concerns stem from the fact Snapchat is popular with users under the age of 18.

This new stance comes just a week after the Children's Commissioner's Office published a report that found children often feel pressured to earn "likes" on social media, with attempts to disconnect seen as socially damaging. The report called for schools to do more to teach children about the impact of social media to make sure they fully understand what's going on.

Longfield says she has already reached out to Snapchat about her concerns, with the company agreeing to meet with her and discuss them.

Snap, Snapchat's parent company, defended itself in a statement to The Times, emphasising that it doesn't encourage 'likes' like some social media apps:

"Snapchat is a place for friends to have fun and live in the moment when talking with friends through photos and videos without the pressure of 'comments,' 'likes' or 'shares'. We take our responsibility to create a safe and secure experience extremely seriously and continue to invest in resources to keep our community safe online."

[The Times via The Next Web]

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