The UK’s children’s commissioner – responsible for advising on policy on children and young people – is calling on parents to ban their children from using Snapchat

The Times (via Business Insider) reports that Anne Longfield is making the call because she believes the app is too addictive.

She criticised Snapchat for its “streak” feature, which praises users who have messaged their friends for more than three days consecutively. Snapchat shows emojis next to a users’ names who have “streaked”, and they must keep exchanging messages within a 24-hour window to keep the streak going.

She suggested this created social pressure on children to keep using the app to remain part of the in-crowd.

Longfield published a damning report last week about the negative impact of social media on children, finding that kids feel under pressure to stay on social media and to win ‘likes’ as social validation.

Snapchat told The Times that it doesn’t use the same Like approach as other social media.

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.

It has, however, been introducing a flurry of new features designed to increase the appeal of the app.

Longfield said that Snapchat had agreed to meet with her to discuss her concerns.

Photo: IBTimes


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