removes a controversial speed filter from its app. The filter, introduced by Snapchat in 2013, allows users to share how fast they move. Security activists have claimed it encourages reckless driving.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our Snapchat community, and we had previously disabled the filter at driving speeds,” a spokesperson for Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, told Engadget. “Today the sticker is barely used by Snapchatters, and in light of that, we are removing it completely.”
A spokesperson said , who first reported on the move, that the filter is being used in a few thousand shots per day. That’s a tiny fraction of the 5 billion snapshots that are shared daily on the app.
The moment of the move raises some eyebrows. The filter has been linked to several car crashes over the years, including fatalities. Parents of three teenagers who died in high-speed crash in Wisconsin in 2017 have filed a case against Snap. Moments before the crash, one of the boys posted a snapshot that used the speed filter, while the Noted.
Last month, an appeals court allowed the case to continue, that Snap was not immune from all liability of the Communications Decency Act 1996. This provision generally protects Internet companies from liability for what their users post. Snap claims the filter did not cause the crash, and this week it to close the case.
Before removing the speed filter, Snap made several adjustments. The filter has been replaced with a sticker to make it less noticeable and a “Do Not Slam and Drive” has appeared every time someone has used it. In the months leading up to the decision to remove the sticker entirely, Snap limited the maximum speed that can be captured and shared to 35 MPH.
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