19 October 2017
You Can Snapchat, but You Can’t Hide
Snapchat is updating, just like the rest of the world, but this (relatively) new update may
shock you. Recently, Snapchat has added a new feature they call “Snap Map”(Schlesinger Day).
Snap Map, just like many of Snapchat’s original designs and updates is meant to be seen as fun
and innocent, but many people feel as though it’s not. Snapchat, with its new and old features,
while certainly not meaning to, promotes actions such as terrorism, sexting, and cyberbullying.
Snapchat is not as safe and fun as some people (especially teenagers) would like to believe.
Many people Snapchat on a regular basis and use the app solely as it is intended, to “live in the
moment.” Even those people are not fully safe from the negative effects of Snapchat. They can
do whatever they think will prevent them from being roped into the cons, but many times the app
will catch up to them.
Snap Map. Two words that when heard should definitely provoke some sort of response.
Snap Map allows users of Snapchat to see where their friends on the app last were when they
opened said app. With just a pinch of the screen, as if zooming out to look down on the world,
you can see the exact location of almost all of your Snapchat pals. While there is a setting in
Snapchat that you can choose to keep yourself off the map, many people turn it on because they
believe there is no harm in the feature. An article from CNBC states, “The new feature also
works like a breaking news feed, letting you pan around the world to see what people are doing
in real time. In addition to showing where friends are, the map shows hot spots, or red areas
where crowds are gathering (Schlesinger Day).” That should raise many red flags. When they
added the feature of “hot spots” they probably didn’t think of the many harmful ways that can be
used in comparison to the few good ways. Have you heard of a soft target? Former LAPD chief,
Michael Downing, illustrates the biggest harm of this feature a soft target, this is a place where
terrorists attack a big event attended by civilians (Schlesinger Day). Snapchat practically shows
these terrorists where their soft targets should be. The app explicitly labels where large crowds
are gathering to anyone using the Snap Map feature and you yourself don’t have to appear on the
Snap Map to view it. This means it couldn’t even help find a terrorist after they attack a chosen
soft target. Snap Map can cause much more harm than good and it should be stopped before it
can cause any harm, if it hasn’t already and we haven’t heard about it.
Sending explicit photos isn’t anything new, but their comeback to popularity was with
Snapchat. Something about the thought of the photos only existing for as long as it takes you to
send them and then the 10 seconds or fewer you’ve allowed it be seen really romanticises the
idea of sexting by opening up the gateway of belief...