New X-rated Snapchat channel from Cosmo has parents concerned

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The new "Cosmo After Dark" channel on Snapchat has some parents concerned. Some critics are calling the content pornographic.

The channel streams new content every Friday at 6 p.m. The creators of the channel say the content is not pornographic, but X-rated.

Parents are worried their children will have easy access to it all. Some of the articles viewers will find on the page include advice on 12 songs to have sex to, X-rated parties and many more sex-related stories.

"My 14-year-old sister is on Snapchat and I just don't want her to ever come across that," said Marina Pelloux.

While many young people have gravitated toward the app, the feature says you have to be 18 or older to open the channel. Some are worried that kids will easily get around that.

"It's so easy all you have to do is check a box," said Pelloux.

Cosmopolitan Magazine is controlling the content on the new Snapchat Channel, which is described as a non-judgmental space where users can be empowered, educated and entertained. Parents that talked to FOX19 don't like it.

"I think that it's out there too much already now -- you don't need to add anything else. If I had teenagers now I'd have to ban them from it," said Dianne Ginter, a concerned parent.

Licensed psychologist Dr. Ed Connor, with Connor & Associates, says exposing children to the X-rated content could have a damaging impact on relationships later in life.

"When you have children who are in that stage of sexual development in early adolescence and so forth they're being aroused to images that aren't reality-based per say. They're being aroused to images that have a very skewed view of what human sexuality is," said Connor.

He says parents shouldn't hesitate to go through their children's phones to see what type of things they are watching online and to talk to them about what they're seeing -- especially since Snapchat doesn't have parental controls.

"As parents, we have to keep communicating. We have to keep talking about this with our children," said Connor.

While many parents didn't know about the New "Cosmo After Dark" channel they say they will be keeping an eye out for it now. Experts suggest that parents get familiar with the technology their children are using to help monitor their activity.

"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," a spokeperson from Snapchat said.

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