A new X-rated channel that asks the question “Can we turn your phone into the best sex toy ever?” launched last week on social media app Snapchat - and it’s impossible for parents to turn it off.
The new channel, “Cosmopolitan After Dark,” goes live every Friday night at 6 pm and is available to any Snapchat user. Cosmopolitan, the channel’s creator, describes the new feature as “dedicated to all things hot and horny.”
“Whether you’re looking for the perfect sex playlist, new positions to try – with a partner or solo – that’ll give you multiple orgasms, or kinky games to play in bed, Cosmo After Dark is your new go-to for taking your sex life to the next level.”
The channel, or “story” in Snapchat lingo, appears in the Discover section of the Snapchat app, and users can subscribe to it or simply take a look at its content without subscribing (an option which is undetectable by parents wishing to monitor their children’s app use).
Sample posts from the launch edition of Cosmo After Dark included:
The “peek-a-boo” nature of Snapchat stories - with time-sensitive posting and intentionally random displays of clickable content - makes it almost impossible to track what kids are accessing. And that is a large part of its appeal to many young users.
Nevertheless, the app has been losing marketshare in recent months, and some observers see X-rated features like Cosmo After Dark as a desperate bid to win back young defectors.
Snapchat has a minimum age requirement of 13, but like almost all social media platforms, there is no verification process involved. (Users who do enter a younger age are directed to the app’s child-safe site, SnapKidz, where content like Cosmo After Dark”is blocked.)
Cyber experts explain that some adult content also appears to be blocked for younger teens on Snapchat - although exactly how that works is unclear. For this reason, it’s important that children who do use the app record their birthdays accurately. For more on how to do this, see instructions here.
Apart from birthday settings, Snapchat’s developers have made it impossible for parents to switch off specific channels or stories. In fact, the app offers no parental controls at all.
If you’re worried about your child’s use of Snapchat, or any other social app, Family Zone can help. Our simple-to-use, cloud-based solutions empower parents to manage children’s devices - including access to apps like Snapchat - at home, at school and everywhere in between.