Edited 5/24 (see below)
After three friends brought this to my attention yesterday, my first thought as the mother of three kids (one, a son, raised pre-online porn, and two daughters 12 and 14):
What the actual…?!
Then I took a breath and started researching… and am likely on some kind of list after the things I’ve entered into my search bar… Special shout out to Taralee O’Malley-Hurff, Founder of Inspired Education for sharing an article about this new feature from SnapChat by For Every Mom. Please consider the following so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you will allow your child to use the app.
First, via For Every Mom:
What is Cosmo After Dark?
❝Cosmo After Dark is a new channel on SnapChat’s “discover” section that goes live every Friday at 6 p.m. Using it’s own language, here’s how Cosmo describes their new SnapChat feature as “an X-rated weekly edition that goes live every Friday at 6 p.m. and is exclusively dedicated to all things hot and horny.”
YUP. That is not an exaggeration. Protect Young Eyes grabbed these screen shots straight from SnapChat. THIS is what your kids can easily access on Cosmo After Dark; remember there are not and never have been parental controls on SnapChat. There is no way for you to keep this from your kids.❞
Consider these facts:
- SnapChat is rated 12+ in the app store and there are plenty of kids bypassing the “age restriction” on this and every other app.
- There is no parental control or blocking option to keep kids from viewing Cosmo After Dark.
- 1 in 10 kids under 10 have seen porn. In many cases, hardcore, violent pornography is a mere two to three clicks away.
- The largest group of internet porn consumers are children ages 12-17.
The concerns are obvious. We do not want our sons and daughters to grow up with distorted, unrealistic views and expectations about sex, body image and future partners.
What parents can do:
- Delete SnapChat and prevent it from being downloaded from the AppStore by setting restrictions on device(s).
- Install parental control software such as Bark, or choose from several listed “The Best Parental Control Software of 2018” via PCMag.com.
- Talk. Talk. TALK! While it can be an uncomfortable, awkward, eye-roll inducing conversation, talking in a healthy fashion with kids (age appropriately) about sex and sexuality is important.
We all have choices as consumers, so by allowing Cosmopolitan Magazine to create this new X-rated channel, SnapChat has potentially made a huge mistake… or have they?
Update via Cool Mom Tech:
Editor’s Note: We heard from Snap earlier today, and they clarified that this content was age-gated, which means no one under the age of 18 should have access to it. This feature was released to publishers and is a requirement for certain types of content. However, if kids use your phones, then they will have access to this. They also noted that Cosmo did release some content last Friday that violated their terms and it was removed.
Keep in mind the age-gate only works if kids have entered their real DOB.
Thanks for stopping by,