We all know there is a plethora of clickbait news pieces on social media. And many feature some sexually-charged images. Just last week, MTV published an article with the headline, “Is this the thirstiest person on earth?” The photo featured a provocative, scantily-clad blonde taking a selfie, despite the fact that the article was about a fully-clothed man.
But on Snapchat’s news service, Discover, this practice will supposedly become a thing of the past. Last week, Snapchat decided to clean up its act with guidelines that prohibit the publishing of risqué and/or misleading images.
Specifically, these new guidelines strictly prevent publishers from posting photos and content that have no news or editorial value. And reports or links to outside websites must be fact-checked prior to publishing. In a political climate where many are debating what is real news and what isn’t, Discover will simply refuse to run anything that doesn’t meet their publishing criteria. According to Rachel Racusen, spokesperson for the company, these changes will “empower our editorial partners to do their part to keep Snapchat an informative, factual and safe environment for everyone.”
Snapchat is also planning to give publishers a tool enabling them to stop minors from seeing certain content altogether. As Snapchat appeals primarily to teens and 20-somethings, this decision could be a big relief for parents.
The move is designed to help Snapchat separate itself from its rival social media services, Facebook and Twitter, which have historically given their news publishers free reign. It does seem like a smart move. For one, a public offering for Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, is expected by this spring, and these new policies will make the parent company more attractive to investors. As an added bonus, advertisers won’t need to worry about how explicit photos and “iffy” content may affect their image.