Snapchat decides to end its “Speed Filter” after several fatal wrecks where the filter was involved.
Snapchat has, without a doubt, been one of the top apps of the past five years. At one point, the app had a hold on teens like we’ve never seen before. If you don’t remember, before Instagram had stories and video messages, Snapchat had it all. Instead of selling to Facebook, they let them copy all of their features, dethroning them in the social app market share arena.
Snapchat still has a few features that others haven’t copied, perhaps due to legal risks. One of those things happens to be Snapchat’s “speed filter,” which tracks how fast someone is going with a number on the camera.
Any company with a hands-on public relations team would have seen this filter being a disaster way before it was ever released, as some would say it pushes teens to drive faster. This is another PR nightmare following their Juneteenth filter fiasco, just adding fuel to the fire.
Over the past few months, several fatal car accidents have been linked to the speed filter, and now, it’s going to be removed for good. A judge recently ruled Snapchat must face a lawsuit over the filter, even though the app doesn’t say what to do with it. Snapchat has maintained its stance of safety first and to stop people from hurting themselves, they are finally pulling the speed filter from its 500 Million users.
It’s unclear as to why Snapchat has suddenly decided to remove the filter. NPR notes that a spokesperson from the company revealed that the push to remove the dangerous feature stemmed from Snapchatters “barely” using the filter. “And in light of that, we are removing it altogether,” she added.
Obviously, this isn’t the case.
Michael Neff, who is a lawyer that has represented some of the families linked to the devastating car crashes caused by the app says while this a step in the right direction, the families of the people who have been hurt by Snapchat’s negligence are still grieving.
“While this will no doubt serve the safety of the motoring public moving forward, it does not remedy Snapchat’s choice to create and distribute the speed filter in the past,” Neff explained. “We look forward to our day in court and pursuing justice for those who suffered unnecessary losses.”
Snap did try to make a number of changes to the filter throughout its existence on the app at one point, altering it to a sticker option and adding warning signs like a “Don’t Snap and drive” message to alert users of the filter’s potential danger, but to no avail.
Prayers up to all of the families that have been affected.