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Snapchat Aims to Crack Down on Clickbait With New Publishing Rules

Variety logo Variety 1/23/2017 Janko Roettgers
© Provided by Variety

Snapchat wants publishers to stop using misleading imagery: The company rolled out new guidelines for publishers Monday, telling them not to post questionable images to Discover just to get users to read their stories, according to a New York Times report.

The rules specifically restrict the use of sexualized and violent imagery as the cover image for Snapchat Stories, telling publishers that they shouldn’t use images meant to shock or disgust. There are exceptions in place for newsworthy images, but publishers are advised to preface them with warnings.

Snapchat also told publishers that it will give them the ability to age-restrict some of their stories starting next month. And as a response to the ongoing controversy about fake news, Snapchat told publishers that they should only report or link to verifiable news stories.

The new guidelines come as Snapchat rolled out a new design for its iOS and Android apps to all of its users Monday. The new design prominently features a search bar across all of its screens as a way to more quickly find and connect to friends and contacts.

Perhaps more importantly, Snapchat’s new rule for publishers also coincide with the company’s path towards a public offering, which is expected for the next few months. Weeding out explicit content and graphic violence in particular could help to appease major advertisers.

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