Snapchat is cracking down on sexual content in its Discover section again

Snapchat DiscoverScreenshot / SnapchatGet ready to see fewer scantily-clad body parts in Snapchat Discover.
  • Snapchat will enforce stricter rules about the kinds of sexual content it allows in its Discover section for media publishers.
  • The change is a new iteration of the Discover policy introduced back in January that bans “profanity, overly sexualized content, and violent content.”
  • Snapchat still allows Discover partners to show sensitive content if they deem it newsworthy.

Snapchat is once again trying to clamp down on sexual content in the section of the app reserved for publishers, Business Insider has learned.

Parent company Snap Inc. recently updated its the guidelines for the Discover section to more clearly prohibit sexually explicit images and text, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The change, which Snap confirmed to Business Insider on Thursday, builds off the company’s January policy that bans “profanity, overly sexualized content, and violent content” in Discover unless the content is deemed newsworthy. Discover is Snapchat’s hub for the news and entertainment articles featured on its app that are provided by a select group of publishing partners.

Snap realised the need to clarify its previously-stated objection to “sexually explicit or obscene” content after numerous publishers repeatedly showed risqué photos as attempts to get users to tap into their channels, the person familiar with the matter said. The stricter policy is also intended to curb the use of overtly suggestive graphics, like emojis that depict genitalia.

Safe content that maintains editorial independence

It’s unclear how Snap’s stronger stance on sexual content will affect The Daily Mail in particular. The early Discover partner is regularly one of the app’s most viewed channels, according to multiple people familiar with the matter, and it often posts sexually-charged photos.

“We are always examining our content guidelines, to make sure they are doing what we intended: to ensure that we can provide a safe, high quality experience for audiences of all ages, while maintaining the editorial independence of publishers and media partners,” Snap told Business Insider in a statement.

“With that goal in mind, we are in the process of strengthening some of the guidelines we last updated in January, which already prohibited content in tiles that was sexually explicit or obscene, unless there was an exception for news.”

The spokesperson stressed that Snap doesn’t pre-approve the photo-rich “tiles,” essentially digital magazine covers, that are created by Snapchat’s publishing partners and updated daily. Snapchat also allows publishers to restrict their content to only be viewed by certain ages or show a warning before sensitive content that’s deemed newsworthy.

Since launching in early 2015, Discover has grown to have more than 70 media partners globally. Invited publishers share ad revenue with Snap.

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