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Snapchat Introduces Cosmo After Dark (it’s P*RN)

Cosmo After Dark - Snapchat channel

Snapchat Introduces Cosmo After Dark (it’s P*RN)

**UPDATE: We have exciting news! Cosmo has told us they are discontinuing After Dark! Read the full story here.

[Warning – this blog post is R-rated but it’s necessary. The Discover section of Snapchat is easily accessible by kids with a new channel: Cosmo After Dark. Parents must know the truth.]

What is Cosmo After Dark? A New Level of Inappropriate 

On May 18, 2018, Snapchat introduced a new channel in its Discover section called, “Cosmo After Dark.” Using its own language, the channel “is an X-rated weekly edition that goes live every Friday at 6 p.m. and is exclusively dedicated to all things hot and h*rny.” And, there’s nothing parents can do to turn it off.

Remember, there are almost no parental controls in Snapchat (we mention one step parents can take below that helps some). There never have been. The Discover section has been a content mess from the beginning, which we’ve told parents about often. Have we forgotten how Snapchat started? As a social platform created by two college students who wanted to sext.

Related Post: 5 Days of Snapchat Discover – Parents Beware

But, Cosmo After Dark seems to include a new, more pornographic level of sexualized content, even by Snapchat’s standards. It’s for this reason that Protect Young Eyes is so concerned. Snapchat seems desperate. As a publicly traded company, making money is important. In the bloody waters of social media competition, it’s a feeding frenzy, and there are signs that Snapchat might not survive. Therefore, everything seems ok. They won’t say no to anyone.

Why do we care?

Because yesterday, I spoke to 240 eighth graders at a public middle school in Michigan. I asked the class to raise their hand if they use Snapchat regularly. A rough estimate had around 80% of the class raising their hand. EIGHTY PERCENT.

“But, Chris, not all kids who use Snapchat browse the Discover section.” I’ll concede – this might be true. But, in analog terms, would anyone in the 1990’s have thought it was a good idea to hand their 8th grade son or daughter a 3-page magazine where pictures of their close friends were on page one, pictures of people they kind of know are on page two, and porn is on page three? As soon as we translate a digital situation to an analog example, it clearly doesn’t make any sense.

Related Post: No Social Media Until High School #waitingisloving

Articles from the Inaugural Edition of Cosmo After Dark on Snapchat

Maybe you’re still not convinced. I’d like to show you what I found. Warning – if you can’t handle sexualized content, then these articles are not for you. The following images are some screen shots of content in the Cosmo After Dark Discover channel which were taken on May 19, 2018.

Cosmo After Dark - Snapchat channel

Cosmo After Dark - Snapchat channel

Anyone using Snapchat can subscribe to this channel so that it remains in the “Subscriptions” section of their Discover section. This is really the only way for a parent to know if the channel has been subscribed to, but only a really careless kid would actually subscribe. Instead, he or she would just peruse the content from time to time without anyone knowing.

Using the Correct Snapchat Birthday Helps Some

The birthday that’s established by the Snapchat user has some bearing on the types of channels that are available, including some of the articles within certain channels. We’re going to continue testing this theory over the next few days by creating test accounts with different birthdays, but for now, it’s very important for parents who have teens using the app to have the correct birthday set.

Here’s a support article from Snapchat that explains how to check and set the Snapchat birthday: How to Set Snapchat Birthday In 2017, Snapchat stated that they began age-gating inappropriate content so that users under age 18 couldn’t access it. Cosmo After Dark definitely qualifies for these gating requirements.

PARENT HACK: if you’re concerned that your child might try to alter the birthday to something older, try changing the birthday on your child’s phone until you reach the max attempts. Then, Snapchat will lock the birthday once you’ve maxed the changes. 

Keeping the birthday accurate plus using BARK* to monitor overall activity on Snapchat will give parents as much assurance as can be achieved right now.

Related Post: Why We Love Bark*

May 22, 2018 Update: As a result of this post, Bark is working on a way to dig into Discovery access. More to come on this soon!”

Our Stance? No One Under 15 Should Use Snapchat #waitingisloving

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.

Maybe you’re a parent who thinks that the Cosmo articles above are appropriate for teens. If that’s the case, then we will just have to disagree and this blog post isn’t for you.

Maybe you’re a parent who thinks “not my kid – he’s a good kid.” If that’s the case, then let me tell you the story about a devoted follower of Jesus Christ who binged on porn for a decade. Listen – the internet is the greatest detective on earth. Whatever secret tendencies or hidden temptations you have will be discovered and eventually exploited by the Internet. One-on-one, in dark, lonely, quiet, bored bedrooms, “good kids” everywhere are hooked on online porn.

Maybe you’re a parent who thinks their kid will suffer socially if he or she doesn’t have social media. Hey, there’s no real gentle way to say this, but that position usually says more about the parent than it does about the kid. That perspective is often (not always, but often) code for, “I don’t like fighting this anymore. It’s just easier to say yes.”

Our stance isn’t popular but, we stand by it. We’ve written a lot about social media, if you’re curious to read more below. Remember, in the digital age, saying NO isn’t easy, but it’s often the most loving response.

Related Post: What’s the Right Age to Give my Kid Social Media?

Related Post: Instagram’s Porn Problem (Instaporn) – Still Safe for Kids?

Parents – Here’s a Next Step:

Parents, there’s only one solution we trust to monitor popular social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram – BARK. Hundreds of families have signed up for Bark based on our recommendation. Is it right for you? Maybe! Try it today for free for seven days by clicking here or the image below.*

Bark Parental Controls

*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We constantly test products to make sure we only recommend solutions that we trust with our own families.

Appendix to Original Post: On May 23, we did multiple news segments related to this post. Both stations reached out to Snapchat, who made the following statement to WSPA News 7:

“We work hard to be a responsible source of news, entertainment and information for our community, and understand the legitimate concerns parents have about what content their children consume. Last year, we strengthened guidelines for our media partners to label anything that might be too mature for younger Snapchatters. In this case, Cosmo was required from the start to age-gate their “Cosmo After Dark” edition for accounts registered as under the age of 18, which means those Snapchatters would not have had access to this content.”

News Segment with WSPA News 7:

News Segment with WOOD TV 8:

 

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Living life to the full! That's why He died and how I try to live. I have an eclectic list of professional experience...CPA, business advisor, youth pastor, development director, now educational resource manager for Covenant Eyes. God shares wild ideas with me about life while I run. I want to show parents how to protect their kids from online dangers, which led to the creation of Protect Young Eyes. We recently created Virtue in Media, the first digital citizenship curriculum based on Scripture (www.virtueinmedia.com).

73 Comments
  • Sam Smith
    Posted at 00:03h, 22 May

    Nobody is using snapchat for their porn needs. You can look at a cosmo magazine at the grocery store. Kids are curious, and they will run across porn on the internet at some point It’s the parent’s responsibility to control how they react when they do.. Ever heard of rule 34? If you outlaw everything that COULD have inappropriate or age-inappropriate content then your kid is just going to wear headphones and blindfolds around.

  • Tim K
    Posted at 00:27h, 22 May

    Does protect young eyes receive promotional kick backs from “Bark?” Are they affiliated in any way? I don’t see any conflict of interest statement or disclosure, so I’m assuming no, but I also don’t see any recommended alternatives. Thanks!

  • G J
    Posted at 11:07h, 22 May

    You sound like a bitter old person with nothing to do in life except complain and try and tell companies how they should run their business. People like you should try to mind your own business and stop thinking the world should be run by your rules. The more we try and shelter our kids from, the less prepared they are going to be when its time for them to get out on their own. I would rather my child be well informed about things, than be dumb as a box of bricks when it comes to life. Children can’t be restricted to learning just from school books. I feel parents aren’t teaching their kids enough. Kids need to be taught about sex, drugs and violence because that is the real world and if you shut them out of it, then you are just setting them up for problems. The world is not a squeaky clean place, it is a harsh cruel place and only the strong and knowledgeable survive.

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 14:12h, 22 May

    Hello, GJ. Wow, in three years of helping families, I’ve never been called a bitter old person! I guess it was bound to happen eventually. Honestly, it sounds like you’re a parent who is having tough conversations with your kids. You don’t need me to convince you to do that, which is awesome. Snapchat can do whatever they want. But, I believe Parents deserve to know the truth. You said, “I feel parents aren’t teaching their kids enough.” AMEN! You’re on our side. Did you read the post? That’s exactly what it’s trying to do – compel parents to get involved and have consistent persistent conversations about all of the harsh, awkward things that no one talked to them about. Our objective is to share information.

    Regards, Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 14:22h, 22 May

    Hi, Sam – you said, “It’s the parent’s responsibility to control how they react when they do.” EXACTLY! We’re just making parents aware of how kids can find it, give them the choice to block it, ALWAYS talk about it, and empower their kid. Just because kids are curious, we would be horrible parents for putting them in situations that prey on their curiosity in unhealthy ways. Yes, kids will eventually find it, but to control as much of the access as possible while providing loving education is what we promote.

    Regards, Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 14:28h, 22 May

    Hi, Tim – yes, for the short list of parental control solutions we recommend, we receive a small affiliate share, like anyone who promotes a service online (click here to read our legal notices). We also have a disclosure at the bottom of the post. We definitely have nothing to hide in that regard! We’ve done the hundreds of hours of research of what’s available and have narrowed the field down to a short list, saving parents massive amounts of time. You can see our short list of recommended parental control solutions here. Bark just happens to be unique in what it does to monitor Snapchat. No one can match it. If you can find one that does, we’d be more than happy to put it through our testing. Thanks!

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Sharon G
    Posted at 15:02h, 22 May

    Keep up the good work! Porn hijacks brains. Porn requires that you feed it and it never gets full. You get chained to IT.! After working with many adults addicted to porn for years we are also focusing on prevention for kids. The books Good Pictures Bad pictures are wonderful and kids feel empowered! Don’t become weary in trudging forward, you make a difference.
    Sharon

  • Yvonne Kidder
    Posted at 16:14h, 22 May

    I would just like to say THANKS for what you do. People who negatively reply either have their head in the sand, aren’t affected by porn or embrace porn as a natural part of growing up. We I have a 13 year old who started watching porn at 10. All he had was a computer to help him learn english (he is from Haiti) and as he searched, porn found him. It is insidious. It is pervasive. It is a disease. It isn’t healthy or normal. My now 18 year old had a porn problem and all he liked was anime. It took him years and some self harming to get over it. Social media isn’t allowed in my house and never will be. Only my 18 year old has a cell phone. None of these things are vital to the emotional, education or physical well being of my child . Yes, they’re cool. Yes, they can assist with academics, but what I say is we all survived without it for hundreds of years. It is not a necessity. Please continue to fight the fight because no matter how good we parents are, there are those that aren’t. They allow unrestricted access and that affects my kid who is fighting hard to be the best version of himself. Again THANKS!

  • Kelsey Madas
    Posted at 17:49h, 22 May

    Snapchat sent me a tweet on how to unsubscribe – see here; https://twitter.com/snapchatsupport/status/999040716151107584

  • Minty McB
    Posted at 21:50h, 22 May

    Thank you for sharing this information.

    People who think keeping online pornography away from young children is “overprotective” are not going to have their minds changed, but parents should at least be aware of the real and demonstrable dangers of consuming today’s violent pornographic content at a young age, Pornography is what communicates the message that sexual assault and harassment and trafficking is OK. As pornography reaches kids at younger ages, it’s affecting their perceptions. A 2016 study of 13- to 25-year-olds found that 46 percent of adolescents see nothing wrong with “sexual acts that may be forced or painful. Almost half of our younger generation sees nothing wrong with sexual assault,”

  • Paul Firth
    Posted at 22:36h, 22 May

    Great article and very inormative. I disagree with the negative comments above. This is highlighting how prevalent porn is to more sensitive age groups. It feels like an agenda being pushed. It’s being served up, not just found if desired but rather made even more readily accessible to those who may not have been seeking it already. The fact that this was launched and parent controls aren’t enabled is a clear sign of what they are intending. While I don’t use snapchat very often, I stopped mid-article and deleted it. I know I can’t delete everything that has content I0 disagree with but this was so egregious that i had to. I am a Christian husband and father that is struggling to raise kids in a world filled with anti-Christian sentiment and pushing alternative truth with no moral standards. My kids won’t be using something that is pushing this agenda harder and faster. Poor decision Snapchat. Your business model might need work, but this kind of behavior enablement without controls is sad.

  • Anna M
    Posted at 22:55h, 22 May

    I appreciate you sharing this information. Hard to keep up with all that is coming at our kids and families. I personally think we absolutely need to be guarding these things from our children! Once they’ve seen it, it’s in their memory and very easy to fall prey to addiction. And i agree- have hard conversations with our kids. Educate them and teach them. Thanks for your input.

  • Aarica
    Posted at 22:57h, 22 May

    Simply put, thanks for sharing this information. I and many other parents DO appreciate the information.

  • Stephanie Nesto
    Posted at 23:24h, 22 May

    Thank you for caring about kids. I wish I would have known more about this when my kids were smaller. They have been introduced to some terrible stuff online that I know has had and still has an impact on them today, in the form of addictions. Breaks my heart!! Parents need to know what their kids are up to while they are so vulnerable and easily influenced. Thank you!

  • Christina
    Posted at 23:49h, 22 May

    Thanks for caring and for sharing this info! Please keep fighting to protect young eyes. It’s appreciated.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 00:23h, 23 May

    Thank you for your diligence in working to protect our kids!

  • Sophy Rim
    Posted at 00:23h, 23 May

    I don’t understand why there’ are so many “hate mail” here.
    Thank you for the information. Thank you for the warning!! I have a preteen who will be allowed to have an iPod when he’s 13 (which I’m not too excited about)… I know somewhere down the line he’ll want IG, SnapChat or whatever i stay connected with friends. I don’t have any other social media forum aside from FB. I want to be aware of the deceitful apps/hidden forums that would incite young people to use them so I can talk to him before hand…
    Anyhow. Thanks for the article. I’ve shared it on my FB…

  • Alyson W
    Posted at 00:23h, 23 May

    How doe Netsanity compare to others you recommend? https://netsanity.net/pricing/

  • Carisa P
    Posted at 00:34h, 23 May

    Thank you! It is becoming more and more difficult in today’s age to teach our children an appropriate view of sex as God’s gift to a monogamous married couple. Call me an old-fashioned conservative. I wear that as a badge of honor. I appreciate knowing what is out there NOT because I think I can shield my children from everything, but so I can teach them an appropriate respect for it. Just as I have taught them that fire can be dangerous but still find burnt things from time to time; I know they are going to be curious and experiment. But at least I can present to them my viewpoint, one that has kept me safe in a dangerous world, and let them go out and learn for themselves.

  • A
    Posted at 01:42h, 23 May

    I sent a response to Snapchat and expressed my concerns. I would encourage you to do the same!

    Hello guys! I really am a fan of Snapchat and I have been using it for years. I really wanted to express to y’all something that has worried myself and others (and before you think i’m an old mom, i’m 20).

    I recently stumbled upon Comsompolitan’s After Hours sections, and something worries me. It is not necessarily the content of the discover, but how easily it is accessible. I don’t necessarily know your exact demographics, but I do know that many young children use this app. It is dominant in the middle schoolers and early high schoolers, and while the App may be directed towards college aged and up, there are quite a number of young kids that use your app. Which is awesome! But I feel as though they are not taken into consideration with the Discover platform.

    I feel as though having “X rated material” so readily available on your app is extremely dangerous for these demographics. Without any parental controls or obstacles to open these promiscuous stories, many innocent minds could begin terrible addictions of pornography or interests that should not begin so early. I have a little brother that absolutely adores Snapchat, but nothing scares me more than him making the same mistakes I made, accidentally stumbling upon something he should not see, and beginning a long addiction that he would soon have to battle, that all began with Snapchat.

    Please hear me out, I am not requesting that you take away these Cosmopolitan After Hours Discoveries, but rather that you take these children into consideration, and at least somehow make it harder to discover and not something you can merely open when mindlessly perusing through the app waiting for dinner to be served or for soccer practice to start. We all know that many of the youth love Snapchat, but I don’t want Snapchat to become another danger to them, as the internet is already filled with so many things that they should not have so easily accessible. I am pleading with you all to continue to improve your Snapchat, and guard the minds of these young and easily influenced people. Thank you so much,
    A

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:16h, 23 May

    Hi, Alyson – Netsanity is an excellent product. Very similar to Mobicip. It doesn’t have the ability to see into social media platforms (that I’m aware of) like Bark does. If you’re using them or want to use them, then I would try them and see if they provide the type of service you’re looking for.

    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:17h, 23 May

    Hi, Melissa – you’re welcome! We’re excited about how many people are seeing this article.

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:18h, 23 May

    Hello, Christina – you’re very welcome!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:19h, 23 May

    Hello, Stephanie – you’re welcome and we’re so glad that the information is proving helpful to parents like you.

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:19h, 23 May

    Hello, Aarica – you’re very welcome!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:20h, 23 May

    Hello, Anna – you’re welcome!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:21h, 23 May

    Hello, Paul – thank you for the encouragement. Keep spreading the word!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:22h, 23 May

    Hello, Minty – you’re very welcome. Parents can decide whatever they want, but we just want them to be fully informed when they make those decisions. Take care!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:24h, 23 May

    Hello! Thank you for this and for taking action. Your letter and I truly hope Snapchat will listen!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:27h, 23 May

    Hi, Kelsey – thank you for this and for pushing back on them to make a change. You’re right that you can unsubscribe. Our hope is that Snapchat listens to many concerned parents who disagree that it’s available in the first place.

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:28h, 23 May

    Hello, Yvonne – you’re very welcome! I’m so sorry about those early and pervasive exposures to pornography that were experienced by your sons. That just breaks my heart and I do hope they’re both able to find healing.

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 02:30h, 23 May

    Hi, Sharon – thank you! I appreciate your encouragement and we, too, endorse both of Kristen Jenson’s books. They’re excellent!
    Chris

  • Tony Schmitz
    Posted at 06:42h, 23 May

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Pornography takes so many forms today its scary. Having Cosmo’s name on it should be a red flag. Cosmo is porn. I’ve seen similar writing like your screen shots on the covers of Cosmo in the supermarket. Parents need to know that porn shouldnt be your kids means for sexual education. Especially Cosmopolitan. Parents need to be the first ones to educate them and you need to start young. Like PK/K age. A book series we’ve been doing with our children (8, 5, & 4) is called “God’s Design for Sex”. Its a great conversation starter and has been well received by our kids. It may seem awkward to talk about it at first but you must remember young children haven’t been tainted by society yet so the conversation will be natural for them. Our society today has normalized pornofied sex. When i was a kid the only way you could get porn was to physically purchase it which made you more accountable and less likely to pursue it. Today with internet porn you can do it nearly anonymously and for free! 🙁 One phrase i love and I’ve heard said by so many is “The problem with pornography isn’t that it shows too much but that it shows too little.” The human person is reduced to a mere object to be consumed for self gratification. Please pray for those who struggle with porn addiction.

  • Heather Schwarzen
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 May

    The fact that anyone would have negative feedback on an article about keeping pornographers out of the hands (and eyes) of children is stunning. I guess I’m a bitter old person, but I feel like it’s my job to make sure my kids use car seats until they’re of the appropriate size, eat nutritious food until they can make those choices by themselves, receive an education even if they “hate” math and on and on….

    It’s called parenting.

  • Angie Berkshire
    Posted at 08:37h, 23 May

    Chris,
    This is an article I’ve been waiting for. I’m not married and don’t have kids. But, there are lots of kids in my life that I care about. Although I do have snapchat, it makes me angry that such junk is so available on an app used by kids ALL THE TIME!!! Thanks for posting… even if it did get you some slack. Truth will not find friends in everyone, but truth still needs to be spoken. I plan to share this article myself… everyone needs to be aware of the things being made available to their kids.
    God bless you as you continue to minister to MANY. May He especially bless your efforts to protect the souls of the younger generation!!!
    Angie

  • Joshua Somma
    Posted at 08:47h, 23 May

    Chris as Youth Pastor I commend you for speaking out against the realities people face. Your definitely putting yourself in the hot seat but I have the uttermost respect for that because we need people to be courageous for what God has called them to do. Praying for you and thank you again for taking a stance that not many would want to stand up to fight.

  • KLee
    Posted at 09:04h, 23 May

    Why must we treat “P*RN” as a taboo word? By sanitizing, avoiding or running through the conversation as fast as we can to avoid discomfort, the Church leaves the door wide open for Satan to work. While there are practical measures to help people and teens avoid seeing porn, we must be careful not to turn SnapChat into another “don’t” on the list next to “don’t have sex.” Our sinful natures, deviant as they are, will find another avenue to be fed while still technically abiding by the Christian list of do’s and don’ts. Attraction and addiction to pornography is a heart issue, in addition to a mind issue. Until God works in your heart to convict you to turn away from sin, whether porn or other, deleting SnapChat from your phone won’t protect you from thinking about or desiring to watch porn. In addition to practical measures, be sure to pray without ceasing for our children, friends and family members choosing to enjoy and endorse pornography.

    Porn is unhealthy for ANYone, not just those under the age of 15. It leads people deep into more erotic porn, masturbation, unhealthy/unrealistic romantic relationships, shame and guilt. Take it from me, a woman who thought her porn issue wouldn’t impact her marriage, but it did. Porn, sex and masturbation are not addressed well enough or frequently enough in the Church and Christian communities, and if we want the best for our current generation of kids, we must learn and be bold to initiate the conversation.

  • Christie
    Posted at 09:39h, 23 May

    What time does that feature turn off? Are they there the whole weekend? 24 hours?

  • Christie
    Posted at 09:53h, 23 May

    Wow! I am shocked that Snapchat is allowing this knowing that most of the people that use snapchat are teens and young adults. Thank you so much for keeping parents informed. I truly appreciate it!

  • Adam
    Posted at 10:13h, 23 May

    Thank you for this article, I’m glad I found it. Except for those of a few fringe parents, of course all kids have smartphones now. The ability to stay in touch with your kid at any time is a necessity, especially in this day and age, when you never know if they are going to get gunned down at recess. That’s where it ends, though, I’ve had enough of the incessant notifications, the mind controlling, neck-craning prison that Snapchat has my kids in. Access to porn is the last straw. They can get that through other means if they try hard enough. I don’t need it on an app that I can’t monitor. There will be fighting. There will be tears. But there will be no snapchat, and I suspect they will survive without it.

  • Debbie Steele
    Posted at 10:13h, 23 May

    Hi. I appreciate the information you shared. I think it is important to counter all of these negative and destructive influences out there with teaching from parent to teen/child. I have tried to take every opportunity to talk to my son (now 18) about how porn degrades women, about how it makes me as a woman feel, and about how Jesus treated women. Jesus lifted women out of the abuse and degradation of the time they lived in, and it is still going on. This only addresses one facet of the porn problem. But we have discussed how sexual relationships before marriage lead to abortion, and I have challenged him that it is his responsibility before God to provide for and protect any child he fathers – therefore he cannot avoid that responsibility before God, and the only way to keep that from happening is to choose to not participate in sex before he is committed in marriage. I have challenged him to realize what porn will do to his mind, and his focus on life. I ask him – are you watching porn or looking at porn? Are you telling me the truth? I’ve had these kinds of direct conversations with him for many years now, often in the car or in the kitchen when I’m working. I started being very direct with him and setting an expectation that I will talk to him about this and will address any and every topic, from the standpoint of how God looks upon these things, how Christ related to others, and how it will destroy his life. It is not fun to talk about these things, but I believe it is important for parents to learn to say these things, because you cannot erect enough fences, or prevent every type of access or opportunity. The internet and these platforms are constantly changing and it is everywhere. I believe it is important to charge your kids with truth and let them know you are going to be asking them how they are doing, and really look at their eyes when you talk with them. Our son is a typical teenager, with those “independent” tendencies they all have, but he listens, and every time I’ve seen him listen and respond I rejoice. Because one day he will be a grown man not in our house, and porn will still be around. If I tell him how it will make his wife feel, how it can ruin his marriage, I am hopefully spuring him on to make decisions not to go there. If he has made his own decisions for his life, these things will lose a lot of power. But even so, destruction is always waiting and they as adults, just as we as adults, must deal with it.

    DS

  • Carrie johnson
    Posted at 10:23h, 23 May

    Is this running from Friday at 6 through Sunday?? Bark doesn’t allow parents to see Snapchat messages on Apple products :(. Back to square one for this Mom 🙁

  • Kevin E
    Posted at 10:26h, 23 May

    What you do makes a difference in the world. Those who disagree are simply blindly following trends rather than actually stopping to consider what is best for children. Porn is harmful at any age, but it is especially addictive and powerful over the developing brain and can affect a person for the rest of their life. Thank you for helping people protect kids from something so destructive.

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:43h, 23 May

    Thank you, Kevin! We appreciate any encouragement!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:45h, 23 May

    Hi, Carrie – it runs live on Friday night. I didn’t watch it, so I’m not sure what exactly is meant by “live,” but I was able to access the post-live content via those articles any time. Bark monitors the stories and is working on a way to see into Discover because of this post. They’re the only ones that see anything in Snapchat on iOS at the moment, and from talking to parents, just seeing into the stories that are shared by the friends of their children gives them plenty of “pause” and things to talk about.

    Keep going, mom! You’re doing great 🙂
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:47h, 23 May

    Hi, Adam – it’s tough making these decisions, but I’m here encouraging you! I agree that staying in touch is important – talk, text, GPS. Those 3 are good. We just don’t believe that kids need the baggage and temptation of the internet.

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:48h, 23 May

    Thank you, Christie!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:49h, 23 May

    Hi, Christie – the “live” segment rolled out on Friday (which I didn’t watch), but now, on Wednesday, I’m able to access the articles. I’m not exactly sure what is meant by “live” on Fridays, but we’ll tune in briefly this coming Friday to determine more about what’s going on.

    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:54h, 23 May

    Hello! I totally agree that we should not treat porn as a taboo word. I also resonate with your comments about, “if it’s not Snapchat, it’s going to be something else.” That’s why parents need to speak openly and early.

    The ONLY reason I used it the way I did is for SEO purposes. I don’t want to give any more authority to the word than is necessary in the eyes of Google and if I put the word “porn” in my titles, it can draw inappropriate attention. The asterisk helps with that. On the other hand, I work in the anti-porn industry ALL DAY as a marketing manager for Covenant Eyes, and so trust me when I tell you that I use the word often and teach thousands of parents every year through our live presentations HOW to talk about it with their kids. One of my favorite moments in my presentations is making an auditorium of 200 parents say the word “pornography” out loud multiple times. I do this intentionally 🙂

    Thank you for your thoughts! We must speak to our kids about all of the awkward things that no one talked to us about. I couldn’t agree more!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:55h, 23 May

    Thank you, Joshua. You’re on the front lines too, brother! Press on and I sincerely appreciate your prayers.
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:56h, 23 May

    Hi, Angie! Thank you so much for your encouragement!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:56h, 23 May

    Preach it!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 10:57h, 23 May

    Hi, Tony, thank you for sharing. I couldn’t agree more with your statements about the significance of intentional parenting in this space. I have special sensitivity for those who struggle. The struggle is very real.

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Phillip Brande
    Posted at 11:17h, 23 May

    Keep up the good work buddy – as for parenting I put restrictions on what they eat, like they can’t drink Clorox and we lock up the cabinet its in… because it is harmful. That doesn’t mean when they see it at the store that they will be temped later in life to drink it. It is crazy to think that keeping a close eye on what your children see will some how result in them not being prepared for life. You prepare them by being a parent and protecting them with your wisdom and telling them why.

  • Lauren W.
    Posted at 11:27h, 23 May

    Hello! I’m 16, and found this through an article on Facebook. My parents don’t allow me to have SnapChat because of all the many stories they’ve heard about the app. I highly agree that this information shouldn’t be so easily available to my peers. I’ve noticed some comments talking about how parents can’t shelter their kids from everything or they won’t be able to take on the world, and I agree. However, there are things that we as teenagers don’t need to see/have access to at our age (such as porn and drugs). I’m homeschooled, so I’m more sheltered than most kids my age. My parents have taught me that I don’t need to see things like that, and I agree with them. There’s only so much we need to see/hear.

  • Tiffany Henderson
    Posted at 12:17h, 23 May

    We already have covenant eyes, should we add Bark also?

  • Jenn
    Posted at 13:31h, 23 May

    GJ is not on your side. GJ is one of those freaks who thinks it’s OK to use porn to teach kids about sex. My FIL is one of those freaks.

  • Anabella Freeman
    Posted at 13:43h, 23 May

    Chris,
    Thank you for the information and helping us to be better equipped as parents. Can you share differences between Bark and Circle? I don’t know much about either but would like to help my children with some limits and oversight. Thanks!

  • Kristy Wells
    Posted at 14:52h, 23 May

    Since I’ve never been on Snapchat, I’m sure my lack of understanding here might show. To clarify, children (anyone) can access and watch porn during these hours?

  • Adam
    Posted at 15:49h, 23 May

    I appreciate your work. I’m sure a lot of parents don’t have a clue.

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 01:34h, 24 May

    Hi, Kristy – I did not tune in for the live release of the content last Friday at 6pm. I plan to catch some of it this Friday, unless Snap decides to cancel it before then due to the uproar. If the user’s birthday is set to something under 18, then they should not have access to this channel.

    I hope that helps!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 01:35h, 24 May

    Hi, Tiffany – Bark + CE is a potent combination of protection. Try them together and see if it works for your situation. You can try Bark free for 7 days by clicking through one of the Bark links in the blog post.

    Regards,
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 01:37h, 24 May

    Amen! Great analogy, Phillip. Whenever you work in the space of calling something inappropriate (especially something as volatile as sexualized content), there are always going to be nay-sayers.

    Stay strong!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 01:39h, 24 May

    Hi, Lauren! Thank you for sharing a mature and level response. Way to model to the adults! I agree with your comments and wish you all the best.

    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 01:48h, 24 May

    Hi, Anabella – they are different. And, I just recently traded messages with Circle’s tech support to understand compatibility better. Since Circle uses the VPN and Bark uses a device backup (and NOT the VPN), they should be able to co-exist on the same device.

    Circle’s greatest strength (in my opinion) is app control. Meaning, for everything attached to the router, I can control what apps people can use and for how long. If screentime is a concern, then Circle works great. It gives you that overall control for a device and when that device uses the internet.

    Bark digs in to certain apps to give a parent insight into concerning activity within the app. No time limits. No filtering out content. Bark wants to save parents time looking for inappropriate activity, and instead, use their algorithm to identify it so that parents can focus only on the concerning stuff. Not over all device management. More along the lines of app content reporting.

    I don’t know the ages and behavioral tendencies of your children, but if you’re an iOS family, you might try a progression with first enabling all of the iOS Restrictions you can (read more here) plus Bark. If then you desire more control over how the device is used, add Circle.

    I hope that helps! If not, please let me know via a PM on social media.
    Regards, Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 01:49h, 24 May

    Hi, Adam, thank you. We are definitely trying to change that!
    Chris

  • Jenn Brown
    Posted at 09:26h, 24 May

    I got Bark set up and it doesn’t give us an option to even add snapchat for apple products…..so I guess snapchat isnt monitored at all?

  • Betsy Ward
    Posted at 10:53h, 24 May

    Thank you for the information.
    I have one 18 year old at home on SnapChat and will discuss this with her.

  • Kathy Callahan
    Posted at 11:21h, 24 May

    I’m just new to your site, today. I’ve always talked to my kids about internet safety and used parental controls. Unfortunately I feel like it’s (online porn) a losing battle but I will never be defeated. My youngest is now 15 (son) and on SnapChat with all his friends. I appreciate knowing this info about Cosmo. I knew Instagram had porn but not SnapChat.
    Two questions:
    1. So if my son has the correct birthday entered into his account can he not see this new Cosmo feature at all?
    2. Are there any trendy social media apps out there (that are equivalent to what SnapChat can do) that don’t promote porn??? A great social media app specifically designed for 8-15 year olds?

    Thank you! And keep up the good work!!

  • Tricia Walter
    Posted at 14:10h, 24 May

    I am so angry at SNOPES. I use that sight often to check facts. And they list this as FALSE. Are they getting paid? Their reasoning is ridiculous also. Thanks for the truth.

  • Melissa Keller
    Posted at 00:11h, 25 May

    Bless your efforts to inform parents and protect the minds of young children, it is my prayer that every person who is a Christ follower will step up and speak up! Why do we have to constantly have garbage and filth dumped on us and our children? Free speech is what they will holler until we speak up for what is holy, righteous and pure. Here’s a thought, would you like whatever vile violence is happening to happen to your wife, son or daughter?
    Dear Lord, help us regain decency!!
    And common sense!!

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 20:13h, 25 May

    Hi, Kathy – you can get the birthday locked in by changing it until Snapchat locks it, which will prevent exposure to things in Discover that have an 18+ rating. As for a safe social platform, that’s a stumper. Not that kids actually use! There are a few niche apps out there, but in the eyes of a kid, what good is a social platform that no one is using? That’s the struggle.

    I appreciate your encouragement!
    Chris

  • Chris McKenna
    Posted at 20:14h, 25 May

    Hi, Jenn – there are a few extra steps to take regarding iOS set-up. Have you seen this support article? http://help.bark.us/desktop/how-to-monitor-an-iphone-or-ipad-device If that still doesn’t help, then please send them a help message and they’ll get back to you.

    Kindly,
    Chris

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