Snapchat removes Speed Filter feature that ‘encouraged’ reckless driving
San Francisco: Popular social media platform Snapchat is removing a feature known as the “Speed Filter” that lets users capture how fast they are driving and then share it with friends.
The move is a dramatic reversal for Snap which introduced the feature in 2013.
Since then, “Snap has defended the feature in the face of warnings from safety advocates who’ve argued that it encourages reckless driving”, reports NPR.
The company has also faced lawsuits from the families of those who have been injured or killed in car crashes where drivers were moving at excessive speeds, allegedly to score bragging rights on the app.
The feature has been connected to several deadly or near-fatal car crashes, often with teenagers behind the wheel.
According to the report, a 2015 collision involving the speed filter left a driver in Georgia with permanent brain damage. In the same year, the feature was tied to the death of three young women in a Philadelphia car accident.
In 2016, five people in Florida died in a high-speed collision that reportedly involved the speed filter, according to the report.
In 2017, three young men in Wisconsin clocked a speed of 123 miles per hour on the feature before they crashed into a tree and died, it added.
In May, Snapchat said that it has reached over 500 million monthly active users, with roughly 40 per cent of its community located outside of North America and Europe.
In India, Snapchat has seen over 100 per cent (year-over-year) growth in daily active users (DAUs) in each of the last five quarters.