The Debate About Snapchat

Frederick Hubacker
Frederick Hubacker
Published in
3 min readFeb 4, 2021

The news source I will be researching is snapchat. Snapchat is a social media/messaging app that has gained considerable popularity in the last 10–12 years. It is both a social media app and a news outlet, starting out as just a unique messaging app that send pictures for messages before forming into one of the most popular social media apps for teenagers, and then one of the most popular apps in general. Over time, snapchat has increased their brand by incorporating sponsors and a social media influence. Many news and entertainment outlets now operate on snapchat, forming the once unique little messaging app into the powerful media titan it is today. In the past, Snapchat has gone under scrutiny for having pictures that users send to one and other be immediately deleted after viewing. Individuals say that this can lead to mass amounts of evidence in criminal cases not being able to be uncovered. This resulted in snapchat creating a law enforcement guide that specifies when they will provide information to law enforcement officials. In cases of search warrants, court orders, and subpoenas will snapchat provide information to law enforcement officials, but people were still concerned about the photos disappearing. The argument for having those photos disappear is that it provides security to users from hackers and other technological entities who may be trying to steal their information or invade their privacy. Though snap chat’s photos cannot be recovered, they have a messaging system that does record conversations, and that might be an appropriate way to solve crimes. In my opinion though, I believe snap chat is doing perfectly fine, and they are releasing information to authorities in the correct way. The biggest reason why I feel this way is because as a snapchat user myself, I feel like the photos that I send to my friends are safe, and I know the only person that will see it is the person I’m sending it to. There is just a certain security to knowing your picture will be gone after the person views it. Overall, snap chat has very good security for their users when it comes to protecting the photos (or “snaps”) that they send to other people. Like I said before, photos disappear after they are viewed, and if the person receiving the photo decides to screenshot it, then the sender is immediately notified of the screenshot. I believe that photos aren’t posted to a major social media website are personal property, so I think snapchat is doing a fine job in that regard. In the past, there has been proof that some third-party apps were operating without the consent of snapchat and downloading photos that were sent between users. These apps have been identified and taken down, but they are still made and released sporadically. Snapchat still has to identify these apps and order them to be taken down. With all of the safety precautions snapchat takes with the law enforcement guide, taking down third-party apps, and overall safety of users’ private property, I think snapchat has proved doubters wrong about how they can ensure safety for their users.

https://aacriminallaw.com/the-legal-side-of-snapchat/

https://www.informationweek.com/software/social/5-ways-snapchat-violated-your-privacy-security/d/d-id/1251175

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Frederick Hubacker
Frederick Hubacker

Student at Central Michigan University, Studying Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts and Sports Management.