Extending Snapchat’s parental control features to Irish users will offer parents and children added protection online, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins, Dublin Mid West TD and Fine Gael Spokesperson on social media, has called on social media giant Snapchat to extend their recently launched international parental safety features to users in Ireland.
Deputy Higgins was speaking following the recent introduction of Snapchat’s parental controls features to users in India, as well as in the US, UK, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.
“We know that Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps among young people these days. This cyber security month, I think it is more important than ever that we are utilising all the available tools to keep young people safe online.
“That’s why I’m calling on Snapchat to roll out these features to the Irish market to offer an added layer of protection for children and young people using the app.
“These newly introduced parental controls on Snapchat let parents and guardians review who their teens are friends with on the social app and who they are messaging or have sent photos to in the last seven days.
“The feature actually doesn’t allow guardians to see the exact content of the messages their child is sending, which I think is a good idea because it allows young people to maintain their privacy and independence. Crucially, it provides an insight for parents into who their children are in contact with and can be a good starting point for having conversations about feeling safe online.
“The app also has a feature which allows users or parents to report concerns over safety and abuse to Snap’s Trust and Safety team to review which I think would be really valuable for Irish users.
“Kids are using social media and it’s not always a safe or nurturing environment, but I think implementing these safety features not only creates another layer of protection online but also ensures that parents are playing an active role in who their children are in contact with.
“These days kids are often more tech savvy than their parents and it can be easy for guardians to turn a blind eye to what their kids do online but safety features like those being introduced by Snapchat are a great way of educating parents. It also sends a clear message to young people that if they are experiencing abuse or bullying online, their parent or guardian will be there to support them,” concluded Deputy Higgins.