The point of the so-called ‘Snap Map’ feature is to allow friends to locate each other on a night out, for example. But, since its release, the new feature has met some fiery criticism.

Immediately after the release of the update, British Broadcaster Nadia Sawalha uploaded a video to Facebook where her fourteen year old daughter labelled the new update as “stalk your friends.” 

The video serves as a warning to parents, and bares the caption: “PARENT ALERT!!!! If your child uses Snapchat you MUST watch this.”

The video was viewed over 26 million times and shared through more than 700,000 accounts in the first three days alone.

Commenters on the video were vociferous in their concerns about the app, too. “I think it’s completely irresponsible of the makers of Snapchat and needs to be addressed,” wrote one lady.

“This opens a huge can of worms for unsavoury people!” quipped another.

In fairness, my first reaction when hearing my snapchat friends would be able to know exactly where I was at the click of their fingers, even if they didn’t care, was frightening. I immediately disabled my location services. (I would like to point out, you can turn this feature off rather easily!)

It’s got me thinking, should we really be letting companies legalize features such as this?

Unfortunately, the only scenario that repeats in my head is ‘the naive thirteen year-old girl who doesn’t care to turn the feature off and her fourteen year-old ‘male friend’ is actually a sixty year-old pedophile who now knows where she lives.’

And, from my own experience with the update, it’s not that hard to work out where someone does live with the new app. From the occasional pinches out I’ve made in the last week, I’ve noticed most of my friends standing in the exact same places. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out this is probably where they live.

It must be said, though, a lot of people disagreed with Nadia Sawalha’s video. In the comments section, many people stated how the app can only turn dangerous if you’re irresponsible.

“Don’t let your kids add random people, and there will be no issues,” is currently the top comment on the video.

Another wrote, “This is why parents should just let their kids be kids and not buy them a fancy phone if any phone at all.” 

It’s a fair point, but when I look back to a thirteen year-old me, I find it hard-to-believe I could’ve been responsible with this feature. Back then, we added people we met on the internet and trusted they said who they were.

It’s hard to know, really. Tell us what you think, do you believe Snapchat’s new ‘Snap Map’ could be dangerous for kids?


Author: Steven Walton

Steven Walton is a 16 year old student currently attending St Andrews College in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was brought up with two older brothers and his big passions are sports (especially motorsport), people and writing. He runs his own motorsport blog, Green Flag F1 (www.greenflagf1.com) and is aspiring to be a journalist when he is older.

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