The company is involved in several lawsuits for road accidents, but has not admitted the danger of the function
Snapchat will remove from its app lo speed filter, 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 encourage 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 permanent brain damage. 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 speed filter. The following 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 traffic accidents. The court found that Snapchat it 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 hosted the speed filter on its app since 2013, had recently tried to run for cover by making a number of changes. The company downgraded the function from filter to adhesive, lowering its importance. He also added a notice reminding of “don’t shoot and drive”That appeared every time someone used the function. The company also limited the maximum speed at which a post could be shared to 35mph, just over 55km / h.
The company is already facing lawsuits in several US states from the families of those who were injured or killed in traffic accidents due to speeding while using the app. According to one of the lawyers representing the families of the victims of the removal of the filter it does not change anything on the legal level, confirming that the lawsuits will continue.
A Snapchat spokesperson said yesterday that the reason the filter will be removed is that it is rarely used by app users, not admitting the danger of the feature. Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at Santa Clara University, explained a Npr that more and more technology companies are making risk assessments of new products and features to try to anticipate possible abuses, but it seems instead that Snapchat didn’t care of this before launching its filter.