Snapchat removes speedometer filter after families of car crash victims accused it of encouraging reckless driving

Snapchat removes speedometer filter after families of car crash victims accused it of encouraging reckless driving
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Snapchat's speed feature is no more, NPR first reported. Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Snapchat is removing the speed filter, which critics say promotes reckless driving.

  • The filter has been connected to several serious crashes over the years.

  • Snap told NPR that it is nixing the feature because it's "barely used by Snapchatters."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Snapchat is nixing its controversial speed filter after years of criticism.

The feature, which showed a user's current speed overlayed on top of a video or photo, was long-criticized by safety advocates who say it encouraged irresponsible and reckless driving. NPR first reported the decision on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Snap, Snapchat's parent company, confirmed that it is removing the feature because it is "barely used by Snapchatters." It may take some time for the filter to be removed from all of Snapchat's 500 million monthly users' phones, the company told NPR.

Critics said the feature encouraged young people to drive at high speeds so they could brag about it on Snapchat. The feature has allegedly been involved in several serious car crashes, some of them fatal.

Read more: The sexual assault allegations surrounding TikTok stars Sienna Mae Gomez and Jack Wright highlight the dangers of teen fame

A 2016 crash connected to the filter killed five people in Florida. One car's passenger took a Snapchat video that showed it was speeding at 115 mph. Similar fatal and near-fatal incidents have led to several lawsuits against Snap over the years.

It's unclear clear why Snap suddenly decided to remove the filter. But it could be connected to a May federal appeals court decision, which ruled that the family of a man who died in a 2017 crash should be able to sue Snap for the speed filter's involvement.

Asked whether the May decision had anything to do with Snap's move to remove the feature, a Snap spokesperson said: "We can't comment on specifics given this is pending litigation, but this was a devastating situation. Nothing is more important than the safety of our Snapchat community, and we had previously disabled the filter at driving speed."

Snap appeared to be aware of the dangers the feature presented. Since releasing the filter in 2013, it added a "Don't Snap and drive" message and capped the speed it displayed to 35 mph.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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