PROVO, Utah – Snapchat has more than 100 million users who generate an average of 10 billion video views each day, and one Utah woman is pushing for changes that would allow users the choice to filter material they aren't comfortable seeing.
Young people make up a large portion of Snapchat’s user base, and the terms and conditions allow users as young as 13 to join.
Malissa Richardson is behind the #NotThanksSnapchat campaign, and she says she doesn’t want young children exposed to explicit or questionable material.
“This is not OK with me, and I am going raise my voice and speak against it,” Richardson said.
The former Miss Provo started the campaign, which now has more than 16,000 supporters on change.org.
“In the last few days we have had thousands and thousands of people who have responded to this in favor of having an opt-out option for Snapchat featured stories," she said.
Malissa doesn’t want Snapchat to filter out content entirely, she said she simply wants users to have the option to hide some featured stories.
“A lot of people don’t know there is explicit material on Snapchat, that is featured, that you can see every time you login,” she said.
Snapchat's safety guidelines include a “what not to snap” section. The first heading is pornography, which these guidelines define in part as “sexually explicit content includes snaps that depict real or implied sexual acts.”
Richardson said that not everyone is interested in seeing such content without an opt-out option.
“People say it’s adult content, but that doesn’t mean adults want to see it,” she said.
Snapchat did return calls from Fox 13 News, but they declined to comment on Richardson’s campaign. Some of the content in the featured section on Snapchat is part of a program called Discover, and Snapchat says some of their partners have independent control over what is displayed in that program.
The company has advised partners to make changes in the past, but they don't make those censor requests public.