More Deaths Linked to Snapchat Speed Filter
Moments before the crash, Cortes' passenger, 19-year-old Jolie Bartolome, had been documenting the ride on Snapchat, clocking speeds of 82.6 mph and 115.6 mph. The tragedy raises fresh concerns that, even if drivers themselves are not using the app, the presence of a speedometer on Snapchat could easily incentivise passengers to encourage reckless driving.
The Speed Filter itself allows users to take pictures or record short videos with a caption displaying the speed at which they're travelling. It works by tapping-into the phone's GPS data, which records how far the phone has gone in a given amount of time, and thereby calculates the speed. The app takes this data and overlays it as text on the screen.
|Same speed, different vehicles - img: The Odyssey|
After a similar crash last year, Snapchat was sued in April 2016 by Wentworth Maynard, the driver of the car which was hit at 107 mph by Snapchat user Christal McGee. Maynard was left permanently brain damaged, and claimed that both McGee and Snapchat were responsible for the accident: McGee for using the app, and Snapchat for distracting McGee. The suit is ongoing.
Meantime, users are still able to download and use Snapchat's speed filter. In a statement regarding the Wentworth case, Snapchat said: 'No Snap is more important than someone's safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a 'Do NOT Snap and Drive' warning message in the app itself.'
For now, though, such statements have failed to silence critics of the feature, many of whom continue to ask: 'what good can come from this filter?' It's a good question; and maybe something which Snap Inc. might need to start taking more seriously.
James has a Bachelor’s degree in History and wrote his dissertation on beef and protest. His heroes list ranges from Adele to Noam Chomsky: inspirations he’ll be invoking next year when he begins a Master’s degree in London. Follow him @Songbird_James
More Deaths Linked to Snapchat Speed Filter Reviewed by James Stannard on Wednesday, November 09, 2016 Rating: