removes a controversial speed filter from its app. The filter, which Snapchat introduced in 2013, allows users to share the speed of movement. Security activists have said they encourage reckless driving.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our Snapchat community, and we had previously disabled the filter at driving speed,” a spokesman for Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, told Engadget. “Today the sticker is rarely used by Snapchatters, and in light of that, we’re completely eliminating it.”
The timing of the move raises some eyebrows. The filter has been linked to several car crashes over the years, including some fatal accidents. Parents of three teenagers who died in a 2017 high-speed crash in Wisconsin presented against Snap. In the moments before the crash, one of the boys posted a joke using the speed filter, such as the noted.
Last month, an appeals court allowed the case to proceed, that Snap was not protected from the liability below of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. This provision typically protects internet companies from being held accountable for what their users publish. Snap claims the filter did not cause the crash, and this week it is to dismiss the case.
Before removing the speed filter, Snap made several cuts. The filter has been changed to a sticker to make it less important and a “Don’t shoot and drive” appears every time someone uses it. In the months before it decided to remove the adhesive entirely, Snap limited the maximum speed it could be captured and shared to 35MPH.
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