Snapchat updates its Discover guidelines to tamp down on fake news and photos

snapchat
dennizn/123RF
Snapchat is no stranger to frivolity. When it comes to user content, most of the photos and videos shared among its largely teenage demographic wouldn’t exactly be called hard-hitting. But if you’re a publisher looking to leverage Snapchat’s enormous reach, you’ll have to do better.

On Monday morning, Snapchat made a few edits to its guidelines for publishers with regard to Discover, the social media platform’s news service. Basically, it’s an attempt to declutter an often crowded landscape, and ensure that what folks are seeing on the “news” platform is actually newsworthy.

As the New York Times notes, Snapchat’s new regulations are more straightforward in their restrictions of “questionable pictures” that lack news or editorial value. These rules ought to reduce clickbait on Snapchat, and are also an attempt at combating the growing epidemic of fake news. To that end, Snapchat has further updated guidelines forbidding publishers “from including reports or links to outside websites that could be considered fake news, saying that all content must be fact-checked and accurate.”

As Rachel Racusen, a Snapchat spokesperson noted, these updates seek to “empower our editorial partners to do their part to keep Snapchat an informative, factual, and safe environment for everyone.” Next month, the social platform also plans to release a tool that will help publishers place an age gate on their content, prohibiting minors from seeing certain material.

Snapchat’s cautious way forward may be tied to the company’s highly anticipated upcoming IPO. “In this environment, every technology company that touches media is concerned about being vulnerable to connections to fake news and disinformation,” said Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. “That’s doubly true for a company planning for an IPO.”

So it comes as no surprise that Discover’s guidelines are stricter than ever, and it’s a trend that we can expect to continue as that public offering looms nearer and nearer.

Social Media

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams still wants to save the world

Social media is evil, leading to a mental health crisis in Gen Z and a rise in hate speech. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, says Ev Williams, the co-founder of Twitter. But weaning ourselves off today's social media won't be…
Gaming

Here are the dates and times for your favorite publishers' E3 2019 conferences

E3 2019 is quickly approaching, and it will feature conferences from some of the biggest game publishers in the world. Here is the E3 2019 conference schedule, as well as what we think will be at the show.
Android

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?
Social Media

Instagram ditches plans for stand-alone Direct messaging app

Instagram is shuttering it's stand-alone messaging app, Direct, after testing it since 2017. While the messaging features remain intact inside Instagram, the separate app will be discontinued in the next few weeks.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Explore grid tempts you to open your wallet

Instagram has made some changes to its Explore tab that might tempt you into the occasional shopping spree. It's also planning to add Stories to the grid, mixing them up with the existing photos and videos.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

We say farewell and fondly remember Grumpy Cat, the internet's famous frowning feline and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat was in real life the opposite of her online persona.
Mobile

Treat your selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.
Web

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.
Mobile

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Millions of Instagram influencers reportedly had private data exposed online

As many as 49 million Instagram influencers have reportedly had their private data exposed in an online database that had no password protection. The database was apparently created by a marketing firm and has been taken offline.
Social Media

Facebook gets a bad rap, former exec says, but we should break it up anyway

The rise of hate speech, the trolling, the comment on Facebook? Not Facebook's fault, says Alex Stamos, the social network's former chief security officer. But the site should still be broken up, he says.