Stranger’s can now view users location on Snapchat. This is a massive safeguarding issue. We take a moment to look into the changes to the app and the scary implications.
You may or may not know what Snapchat is. Snapchat is a Social Media app that allows you to send videos and pictures, both of which will self-destruct after a few seconds of a person viewing them. You can also message other users on this platform via text or video call.
Snapchat has announced a new feature called ‘Snap Maps’ which allows Snapchat users to see other users real-time location on a map.
Not only is the user’s location shown in real-time but all of those who view it can assume the location of people who may be unwillingly featured in the media.
To access this new feature, all you need to do is pinch the phone screen to zoom out of the Snap chat photo screen; this will then allow you access the ‘Snap Map’.
This instantly shows you where your Snapchat friends are on a local map. Additionally, you can see peoples ‘snaps’ and videos who are not on your friend’s list via ‘Our Story’.
Users can see any videos or pictures that other users, outside of their friend’s list, upload to the ‘Our Story’ section.
This also allows the viewer, who is effectively a stranger, to pinpoint the person who has created the ‘snaps or videos’ general location.
This is worrying as the content of local ‘Our Story’s’ could be seriously inappropriate and unsuitable for a child to view but also if your child shares a video or photo to ‘Our Story’ this will allow strangers to see what they look like and where they are in real-time.
How can I make it safer?
There are way’s to try and ensure your child is using the App in the safest way possible. You can do this by switching off the location sharing option within the app – this is called “Ghost Mode”.
Ghost Mode can be accessed by clicking on the ‘mechanical gear’ icon at the top of the main map page. This will then allow you to switch a button enabling Ghost mode. When you have Ghost mode enabled, your location is hidden while you use Snapchat.
You can also report things you see within a Snapchat Story that you feel is inappropriate or upsetting.
While watching the Story in question, you will need to press and hold on screen as the video or ‘snap’ is showing and then press the flag in the bottom left-hand corner.