Snapchat Discover to clamp down on overtly sexual articles and clickbait ahead of IPO

Snapchat Discover to clamp down on overtly sexual articles and clickbait ahead of IPO

Snapchat Discover has unveiled a fresh set of guidelines for publishers as it seeks to clamp down on "questionable pictures" which lack news or editorial value.

The new guidelines mean that Snapchat publisher partners, which include the likes of BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Vice and the Sun, will be unable to show "sensitive content, including profanity, overly-sexualized content, and violent content" unless it is deemed of particular relevance to the corresponding article.

Explicit images displayed around features which have been approved as newsworthy, will have to show a warning before being displayed on screen.

Snapchat confirmed the move to Business Insider, saying it took the responsibility of being a source of news, entertainment and information for its community of more than 150 million daily users "very seriously."

A spokesperson added in a statement: "Snapchatters are curious about the world. They want to know about what’s important, not just what’s popular. They want to see and experience new things — unique stories from credible voices and varied perspectives."

The messaging platform also has plans to release a tool that will help publishers age gate their content in order to stop under-18s from accessing certain material.

"We have been collaborating closely with all of our publishers, whose content has continued to evolve," Nick Bell, Snapchat’s vice-president for content told the New York Times.

"We want to be a great partner to all of our editorial partners, and updating our content guidelines to better reflect where our platform is today is an important part of that," he added.

The company was involved in a lawsuit last year with the mother of a teenage boy who claimed the app regularly showed explicit content to minors, but eventually settled out of court.

The move to to clear up its Discover section comes at the app's recently-formed parent company Snap Inc. gears up for what is likely to be one of the biggest tech IPOs in recent years.

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