Snapchat will remove its filter accused of encouraging unsafe driving

Snapchat will remove its filter accused of encouraging unsafe driving

The company is involved in several lawsuits for road accidents, but has not admitted the danger of the feature

(photo: Unsplash) Snapchat will remove the speed filter from its app, the filter that allows you to view your speed in miles or kilometers per hour and then share the video. Snapchat has been accused of encouraging reckless driving in this way. Unfortunately, in recent years there have been several cases of road accidents also caused by the use of this filter, especially in the United States

A 2015 accident in Georgia involving the speed filter left a driver with brain damage permanent. In the same year, the filter was linked to the deaths of three young women in a car accident in Philadelphia. In 2016, five people died in Florida after a high-speed impact that reportedly involved the velocity filter. The next year, three Wisconsin youths recorded speeds of nearly 200km / h on Snapchat before crashing into a tree and dying. A federal appeals court recently ruled that the company can be sued for the involvement of the speed filter in road accidents. The court found that Snapchat cannot be protected in this case by Section 230, a part of the Communications Decency Act that protects companies from being sued for posting user content on their platform.

Snapchat, which has been hosting the speed filter on its app since 2013, had recently tried to run for cover by making a number of changes. The company had downgraded the function from filter to adhesive, lowering its importance. He also added a “don't shoot and drive” warning that appeared every time someone used the feature. The company also limited the maximum speed at which a post could be shared to 35 miles per hour, just over 55 kilometers per hour.

The company is already undergoing legal action in several US states. families of those who have been injured or killed in traffic accidents due to excessive speed while using the app. According to one of the lawyers representing the families of the victims, the removal of the filter does not change anything legally, confirming that the lawsuits will continue.

A Snapchat spokesperson said yesterday that the reason for the filter will be removed is that it is little used by the users of the app, not admitting the danger of the function. Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at Santa Clara University, told NPR that more and more tech companies are doing risk assessments of new products and features to try to anticipate possible abuse, but it seems Snapchat hasn't bothered about it. this before launching its filter.

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