Snapchat’s New Controls Could Let Parents See Their Kids’ Friend Lists

Snapchat’s New Controls Could Let Parents See Their Kids’ Friend Lists

Snapchat is preparing to roll out enhanced parental controls that would allow parents to see who their teenagers are chatting with on the social media app, according to screenshots of the upcoming feature.


Snap’s parental controls.

Courtesy of Watchful.

Snapchat is planning to introduce Family Center, which would allow parents to see who their children are friends with on the app and who they’ve messaged within the last seven days, according to screenshots provided by Watchful, a product intelligence company. Parents would also be able help their kids report abuse or harassment.

The parental controls are still subject to change before finally launching publicly, as the Family Center screenshots—which were first reported by TechCrunch—reflect features that are still under development.

Santa Monica-based Snap and other social media giants have faced mounting criticism for not doing more to protect their younger users—some of whom have been bullied, sold deadly drugs and sexually exploited on their platforms. State attorneys general have urged Snap and Culver City-based TikTok to strengthen their parental controls, with both companies’ apps especially popular among teens.

A Snap spokesperson declined to comment on Friday. Previously, Snap representatives have told dot.LA that the company is developing tools that will provide parents with more insight into how their children are engaging on Snapchat and allow them to report troubling content. (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA.)

Yet Snap’s approach to parental controls could still give teens some privacy, as parents wouldn’t be able to read the actual content of their kids’ conversations, according to TechCrunch. (The Family Center screenshots seen by dot.LA do not detail whether parents can see those conversations).

In addition, teenage users would first have to accept an invitation from their parents to join the in-app Family Center before those parents can begin monitoring their social media activity, TechCrunch reported.

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Drew Grant is dot.LA's Senior Editor. She's a media veteran with over 15-plus years covering entertainment and local journalism. During her tenure at The New York Observer, she founded one of their most popular verticals, tvDownload, and transitioned from generalist to Senior Editor of Entertainment and Culture, overseeing a freelance contributor network and ushering in the paper's redesign. More recently, she was Senior Editor of Special Projects at Collider, a writer for RottenTomatoes streaming series on Peacock and a consulting editor at RealClearLife, Ranker and GritDaily. You can find her across all social media platforms as @Videodrew and send tips to drew@dot.la.

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