While Snapchat wants content creators to continue producing videos and articles for its Discover section, it would prefer publishers clean up their act a bit and cut back on clickbait headlines and sexually explicit posts, according to a report from Mashable.
Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, rolled out new content guidelines Monday for publishers using its Discover platform. Included in the new rules is a prohibition on publishing “sensitive content, including profanity, overly sexualized content, and violent content” as cover images. A warning will be required before any image that may “shock” viewers.
Profanity and sexualized content including nude bodies, sex acts or sex toys have been banned from use as cover images under the new guidelines. Violent content will require a warning message to appear before anything potentially disturbing is displayed.
Snapchat is also requiring publishers to fact check content before publishing it to ensure articles and images shared through the service are accurate. It’s the latest crackdown on fake news on social media, an issue that has plagued Facebook for months and has been of particular interest following the 2016 election.
“We take the responsibility of being a source of news, entertainment and information for our community of more than 150 million daily active Snapchatters very seriously,” a Snap spokesperson told Mashable. “Our updated Content Guidelines will help our editorial partners tell these stories.”
The changes come following feedback from users and publishers alike who apparently have tired of the tabloid feel of the Discover section. The issue seemed to become noticeably worse when Snapchat changed the Discover tab from a collection of publisher names to magazine-style covers that featured eye-catching images and headlines.
Last year, a 14-year-old sued Snapchat over the content that appeared in Discover, claiming the app was “exposing minors to harmful, offensive, prurient, and sexually offensive content” without warning to the minors or their parents.