As per the latest news coming up, Snapchat is stopping its ‘speedometer’ filter. As per media reports, it was noted that this filter let the users take a photo through the app to share how fast they were moving. This filter has faced a lot of controversy because of its encouragement for reckless driving. It was launched by Snap Inc. in 2013.
This filter has been linked to many injuries and accidents that turned fatal. The drivers who suffered these accidents were driving at high speeds to show off their high speed in the app. Snapchat has also faced many cases from the families of the victims.
A Snapchat spokesperson confirmed the removal of the filter to NPR. However, she did not refer to the safety concerns of the filter. She said that the filter was being taken off because users weren’t using it anymore. She also said that the removal procedure has already started but it might take some weeks to complete since Snapchat has a community of 500 million monthly active users.
The critics of the filter, as well as the advocates of safe driving encouraged the move but they have also said that what is done cannot be undone. Joel Feldman, co-founder of End Distracted Driving told NPR, “Lives will be saved. Crashes will be prevented, but…why did it take so long?” This group had previously supported the removal of the filter.
Out of the many incidents, one that happened in 2015 where a vehicle collision occurred involving the speed filter left the driver in Georgia with permanent brain damage. In 2016, five people in Florida died in a high-speed collision involving the filter.
After these incidents, Snapchat faced several lawsuits, and it reduced the prominence of the filter by converting it into a sticker. Also a ‘Don’t Snap and drive’ warning every time one used it. The company also silently set a top speed for which a post could be shared.