Snapchat Grows Up

Jeff Williams

Snapchat seems to be growing up lately. It’s still incredibly popular with many demographics, but especially so with the younger demographic due to the advertised, yet not true, feature of disappearing photos. It almost wills you to do something completely daring and out of character and wild and document it. What’s the harm, right? It’s going to disappear…

Snapchat has finally implemented a safety center and even has community guidelines as to how one should theoretically act.

It’s quite the bold move for a company whose app is downloaded almost solely for the sharing of illicit photos.  But they've finally come to their senses and posted a guide under their support section as to how one should behave. They also have a safety center for you to peruse so as to be informed as to the danger it has the potential to be. It’s rather refreshing, though I doubt that the advice will be heeded at all. It also seems to be more of a legal gateway for them to absolve themselves of all responsibility, but it might actually be more than that.

“Snapchat is about sharing moments and having fun. Our goal in creating these rules is to accommodate the broadest range of self expression while balancing the need for Snapchatters to be able to use our service safely and enjoyably.”

The Aforementioned rules:

Keep it legal. Don’t use Snapchat for any illegal shenanigans and if you’re under 18 or are Snapping with someone who might be: keep your clothes on!

What not to Snap:

  • Pornography
  • Nudity or sexually suggestive content involving minors (people under the age of 18)
  • Minors engaged in activities that are physically dangerous and harmful
  • Invasions of privacy
  • Threats
  • Harassment or Bullying
  • Impersonation
  • Self-Harm

Violating these rules may result in the removal of content, the suspension of your account and being prohibited from using Snapchat in the future.

Be advised that apparently they reserve the right to remove content if it violates any of those rules. Also, it’s almost certainly possible for them to create automated tools or scripts that can scan for such things as well.

I personally like to see a little responsibility taken by the company, even though it’s of course not going to stop anyone from doing what they want anyway. If someone wants to send some incredibly racy and suggestive photos to someone, they've got multiple options and ways to do so, and nothing will stop kids from doing that anyway. But it’s the principle of the matter that they take a stand against the exploitation of individuals via their app.

Sure, it was created for sexting, but that doesn't mean that it should be used as such. It doesn't work as intended and those randy adventures you’re documenting will inevitably end up somewhere else aside from your intended recipient and the netherworld's of bits and bytes. So it’s certainly not dangerous, but be freaking careful. Real people can actually be hurt by the consequences of leaked photos, not to mention legal action can be taken against all parties involved.

For security and piece of mind an end-to-end encrypted messaging app like iMessage makes more sense anyway, because when the message is deleted, it’s encrypted contents may still be there until they’re zeroed completely, but at least it’s still encrypted.

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