In march 2021 we have made several updates to our chat service to better protect children and youth who use Spond.
What is new?
Setting an age limit for messaging
There is a new group setting where group administrators may choose to set an age limit on messaging within the group. Group administrators may for example change settings so that members below 16 years or below 18 years are not able to send or receive chat messages with other group members, guardians or administrators.
The purpose of this is to keep a safe space for children, and only let them take part in the conversations when they are ready for it.
Guardians can view their children's chats
People who are guardians for children in one or more groups will get a new tab in the messages view where they can view chats that their child is part of within those groups.
The purpose of this is to make it possible for parents to view chats that their children are involved in within the Spond app.
New chats have to belong to a group
All new chats have to be initiated in the context of an existing group. if this group gets deleted, all chats that have been created in the context of the group will be disabled. If a person leaves or is removed from a group, all chats created in context of the group will be disabled for that person. Disabled means that the chats will be possible to browse, but it will no longer be possible to send or receive messages in the chats.
The purpose of this is to prevent people who quit / are removed from group to continuing to have conversations with members within the app.
Hidden contact information
Contact information visibility has been adjusted so that only administrators with “manage members” permissions are able to see contact information that is set to be hidden from members and guardians (previously all administrators could see hidden contact information). The group manager decides which administrators that should have the “manage members” permission.
The purpose of this is to limit the visibility of members contact information to a minimum. Only those who need it, get it.
Bypass age limit permission
Selected administrators may get the permission to bypass the chat age limit. The group manager decides if anyone should have this permission.
The purpose of this is to give a trusted person this permission with the possibility to reach out.
Report chat function
It is now possible to report harassment, sharing inappropriate things, pretending to be someone and other undesirable behavior in chats to Spond. Spond Support will receive these reports.
The purpose of this is to make Spond stay the happy environment it is, and to lower the barrier to say when things are not right.
Please note that the updates on age limit for chats and disabling of chats currently only apply for new chats created after this update in March 2021.
For existing groups, a group administrator needs to turn on the chat age limit by going into group settings. Learn more about setting a chat age limit.
When you create a new group, you will from now on be asked if you want to set a chat age limit as part of the setup flow. Legacy chats that are not created in context of a group will soon be deprecated.