Earlier today I was at work and I was browsing my social media feeds like normal and as I came across a link that a friend shared on her page with the hashtag #NoThanksSnapchat. I was intrigued so I clicked on it and it was a link to a petition that is a letter to the leaders at Snapchat to allow users to select the content that is provided while using the app. For those that don’t know what Snapchat is it is a social media platform that allows users to share photos very easily. I have been using Snapchat for a couple of years now and I use it on a daily basis. It isn’t a main source of communication but if I want to share a quick photo of what I am doing I almost always use Snapchat. One of the recent features is a snap “story” by big media outlets such as Cosmopolitan, ESPN and Buzzfeed among others. They post these “stories” that are available through the app and they post new content every 24 hours. These stories used to be on a certain page of the app that you had to choose to access but with a recent update they are front and center and you always see them when trying to see what your friends have posted recently. From a marketing standpoint and since I am a marketing student I think this is genius. These companies have their content front and center and you always see it. From the user standpoint it is a bit annoying but I know why they do it. The bigger problem than the annoyingness of in-your-face advertising is the content that these companies are putting in front of me. Every day that I open the app I see pornographic material by outlets such as Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan among others. This used to not be such a big issue because I didn’t have to go to the page of the app that had this content but now it is there front and center whether I want to see it or not. There is not a way to remove that content without simply deleting the app and not using it. That is what this petition is about.
Malissa Richardson started this petition to allow a way to edit the sponsored content that we view in Snapchat. She is quoted saying
“I would consider many of them to be pornographic and I hate to think that my friends, siblings and other young people are being exposed to the same gross material multiple times a day,” Richardson wrote after posing her question. “I would hope that we have a right to opt out of being exposed to such sexually graphic headlines and pictures.”
I definitely agree with Malissa and I have signed the petition and I hope that you will, too! I love Snapchat and the ability it gives me to keep up with my friends and family that are near and those that are far away from me and I hope that this petition can help the leadership at Snapchat see the problem with this feature.