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Snapchat’s Brother Channel Tells Kids: Watch Porn, Masturbate, and Always use Incognito Mode

Snapchat Tells Kids Watch Porn

Snapchat’s Brother Channel Tells Kids: Watch Porn, Masturbate, and Always use Incognito Mode

[Warning – this blog post has some R-rated content. The Snapchat Discover section is always on and easily accessible. We simply want parents to be aware of what we found in the Brother channel.]

Protect Young Eyes has been very vocal about Snapchat. We exposed the Cosmo After Dark segment when it first ran in May 2018, causing Cosmo to pull the segment after one iteration (victory to the parents!).

Remember – Snapchat has almost zero parental controls, optional content age-gating, stagnant growth, and a floundering stock price. I really don’t trust them to make moral decisions right now.

I’m not here to censor what adults want to do. I just want Snapchat and other popular social media platforms who know that millions of children use their apps to build higher walls around adult content. Because to end 2018, Snapchat allowed the Brother channel in Discover to give users a bit of year-end advice.

What is the Snapchat Brother Discover Channel?

Discover is a section of Snapchat that contain content from pop-culture. You can’t turn it off. Every kid who has Snapchat, regardless of the birthday, has Discover.

The Brother Discover channel was launched in 2016 with the description, “Brother has your back on all the stuff that actually matters. Relationships and Sex, Life and Health, Fun and Clever Dumb Stuff. Plus all the truths nobody else is going to tell you.”

According to sources, Snapchat owns 40% of the company that launched Brother. Interesting.

Snapchat Discover BrotherOn New Year’s Eve, the Brother channel ran a segment with the cover “Can You Actually Get Addicted To This?” with the well-known icon for incognito mode (the grey and black icon in the red circle). Incognito mode is a way to browse the internet in private without being tracked. Safari, Chrome, all browsers have some kind of private/incognito browsing.

Parents, you need to know what incognito mode is! More on that in just a moment.

It was an enticing title, so I decided to click.

I was then shown 22 screens promoting the benefits of watching pornography, masturbating, exploring my sexuality, and using incognito mode. All 22 screen shots are below. I was shocked.

Age-Gating is Supposed to make Snapchat Discover Less Inappropriate for Kids

Showing inappropriate content in the Discover section isn’t new for Snapchat. But parents have been made to believe that age-gating content in the Discover section will keep their kids safer from adult content.

An age-gate means that certain mature content in Snapchat can’t be seen by people who have the birthday set in their Snapchat profile indicating they’re a minor.

The problem is that age-gating is largely optional. According to Snap, “nudity, pornographic imagery and other indecent, obscene or profane content” will be off-limits unless they use an “age-gate” for inappropriate photos, videos and text.

But, here’s the big issue. The Discover Brother channel is not age-gated! Our test account has a birthday from 2004, meaning it’s for a 14-year-old. Based on our review, everything in the images below is available to anyone who uses Snapchat.

Including every 10-year-old in the fifth grade class who raised their hand at the Christian school where I spoke last month. This, my friends, is the issue. We have too many little people spending too much time in an app that’s built for adults.

And, we’re going to keep posting articles like this one until more parents and Snapchat hear us.

Screen shots from the Dec. 31 Brother Discover Channel

Discover Brother Channel Snapchat“Studies show there’s no direct link between watching porn and E.D.” and yet most all men who watch porn and have E.D. who quit watching porn no longer have E.D. Gary Wilson tells us the other half of the story with his exhaustive website YourBrainOnPorn.com.

Discover Brother Channel Snapchat

“Porn is for everyone.” Imagine a curious 13-year-old after reading that statement.

Here’s where the content becomes really problematic for young people. Brother gives us three, “real good things” about pornography that only tell one side of the story.

  • The implication that you’re at your best when watching porn is so horribly inaccurate.
  • The implication that a young person would find good friends in the comments of porn videos is reckless. The statement, “it normalizes your desires” is flat-out wrong. Pornography is escalatory. You don’t control porn. It almost always controls you as the brain’s “wanting” and “liking” systems become more and more distorted.
  • The implication that masturbating while watching pornography is beneficial ignores all of the toxic neurochemistry that is solidified by combining those activities and the potential impacts on future relationships. Who has a marriage that is better because her husband is addicted to masturbating to pornography? Nobody.

Snapchat Brother Channel Promotes Porn

“The one bad thing about porn” tells kids there’s only one bad thing about porn. Seriously. Screen shots 15-17 are also where Brother takes jabs at NoFap, which is a secular organization that encourages people to remove pornography and masturbation from their lives.

The final two screens tell kids to use porn wisely, show someone fingering a rose, instruct them to “always use incognito mode” to hide browsing activity, and they mock a pro/anti-masturbation calendar for the new year.

Again, none of this content from the Discover Brother channel is age-gated, which is a joke. This is Snapchat’s way of saying that they believe the information above is appropriate for seventh graders. We strongly disagree.

By January 1, 2019, this particular Brother content will be gone. They update daily. But, it’s only a matter of time before similar content shows up. Parent just need to know it’s there and that if their kids are going to have Snapchat, that Discover is always available.

5 Practical Steps Parents Can Take Today to Protect Their Kids

Maybe you’re a parent who thinks that the images above are fine for 13-year-olds. If that’s the case, then this blog post just isn’t for you. For the rest, please consider these steps:

  1. Put off giving your child social media as long as possible and talk to them about the reasons why. #waitingisloving We love the message of Wait Until 8th.
  2. If you do give your child social media, make sure it can be monitored in some way! The only social media monitoring solution we recommend is Bark. (Some parents believe monitoring their kids is an invasion of privacy. We strongly disagree.)
  3. If you’re an iPhone family, unlike Brother, we recommend preventing incognito browsing by: (A) shutting off the app store to prevent using anything other than Safari (Settings -> Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions -> iTunes & App Store Purchases -> Installing Apps -> Don’t Allow) and (B) limiting adult websites in Safari so that they can’t erase their browsing history (Settings -> Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions -> Content Restrictions -> Web Content set to “Limit Adult Websites”). Add Bark on top of these settings for great coverage.
  4. If you’re an Android family, unlike Brother, we recommend preventing incognito browsing by using Family Link. Add Bark on top of Family Link for great coverage. BTW, Bark can monitor so much more on Android than on iPhones (this is Apple’s fault).
  5. Have open and honest conversations about pornography. For your younger children, we explain steps you can take, even for those in elementary school. For older children, Fight The New Drug has an exhaustive library of content that talks about the science of porn addiction and the truth of the porn industry.

Related bonus post: How to Block Porn on Any Device. For Free.

Our Stance Hasn’t Changed. No One Under 15 Should be Using Snapchat.

We said this in our Cosmo After Dark post:

“At PYE, we sometimes feel like the guy on the street corner in the 1950’s with the “Smoking will kill you” sign. Everyone thinking he’s crazy, while walking by and smoking. In a similar sense, too many parents continue to turn a blind eye to the digital risks facing their kids.”

A February 2018 article estimated that just over 90% of 12-17 year-olds have used Snapchat.

Imagine there was a playground in your neighborhood that 90% of the town’s 12-17 year-olds passed through on their way to school every day. One day, your seventh grade son found a really fun, well-decorated poster nailed to a tree in this park that encouraged him and his friends to watch porn, explore their sexuality, masturbate, and hide their internet activity.

Keep imagining…while spending time in the park, kids are given full access to this tree. In fact, it sits right near the entrance where these 12-17 year-olds enter the park. Interestingly, parents aren’t allowed to take things down from the trees in this park, but the park’s owner can put almost anything on them.

Would you allow your kids to continue passing through this park? OF COURSE NOT.

Parents, this starts with you. When 50% of the 5th grade kids we speak to no longer raise their hand when asked if they use Snapchat, we will stop writing these articles. But until that changes, we will continue doing our best to inform parents.


Now What? Have you Heard of Bark?

Are you interested in having greater insight into the social media platforms that your kids are using? Bark is one of the best platforms we’ve tested. They’re constantly looking for ways to dig further into apps, allowing kids to use them while only alerting parents when necessary. We trust them and we think you should, too!

Bark Parental Controls

Protect Young Eyes Logo*There are affiliate links throughout this post because we’ve tested and trust a small list of parental control solutions. Our work saves you time! If you decide that you agree with us, then we may earn a small commission, which does nothing to your price. Enjoy! 

 

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6 thoughts on “Snapchat’s Brother Channel Tells Kids: Watch Porn, Masturbate, and Always use Incognito Mode”

  1. Question: I thought bark couldn’t actually alert me if they clicked on something like brother. Only if they type something in. Is this correct?

  2. Correct. Bark does not monitor the Discover section. Right now, nothing does, which is why we desperately need Snapchat to care more about the content that’s published there.

  3. This is actually a very decent blog. Can you show the similarities between this with Tumblr as well,or maybe some websites that look suitable for children but really isn’t?

  4. This is a very accurate blog 10/10 can you also make a blog about a website that looks suitable for kids but they aren’t really,as well?

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