A North-east politician has praised Snapchat for improving children’s safety – but says it should do more.
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin also hailed the Evening Express for carrying out an investigation which uncovered what her fellow MSP Kevin Stewart called an “extremely dangerous flaw” that allows paedophiles to talk to school pupils.
Our investigation found contact details of a child attending Bramble Brae Primary School had been made publicly available, as well as contact details for a child attending Torry Academy and Turriff Academy.
People can exploit a search function that allows anyone to search for messages posted by children at that school.
Snapchat has said it will roll out a new system which makes primary schools unsearchable.
In a Parliamentary motion tabled yesterday Ms Martin said: “(We recognise) the decision by Snapchat to remove primary schools from its (search function) following a campaign by MSPs and the Evening Express.
“We request Snapchat take immediate action to also remove all secondary schools from the application in recognition that the majority of child users are in secondary education.”
A dozen MSPs have so far backed the motion.
More than 900 people have signed an online petition – set up by Mr Stewart – calling on Snapchat to make the changes.
A Snapchat spokeswoman said: “We know that our work is never done when it comes to the safety of our users and we continually strive to improve our service.
“We are rolling out a block on ‘primary schools’ and all other related terms.
“We always encourage feedback on how we can do better and we are grateful that this was brought to our attention.”
She added: “The safety of our community is our top priority, and one we take very seriously.
“We have a dedicated trust and safety team working round the clock to enforce our policies.
“We encourage parents, educators and guardians to talk to young people about how to use Snapchat safely and enjoyably.”