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The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

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Snapchat: innocent app or horror story?

Alex Coleman @AlexColeman831 [Web Editor]

Apps. Flappy Bird, 2048, Fruit Ninja; popular games that hundreds of thousands of people have owned and played on their cellular devices. Social media. Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr: a form of communication other than text or phone call between individuals. All of these are offered right at our fingertips, and with the aid of cellular data or free wifi, they are accessible at anytime. Whether it’s snapping a pic of the cousin’s football game to share with family on Facebook, or tweeting a quote that made someone smile, these apps are used very frequently. Currently, Snapchat has over 100 million active users alone. This app in particular has sparked a lot of interest, and a lot of concern, from users, parents, and the world in general.

Snapchat was designed by three college guys named Josh Meyers, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy. The app was designed with the intent that pictures could be sent for a time less than 10 seconds, and then disappear from both users phones, the Snapchat servers, and never be seen again. Firstly, giving the population an app where a picture or message could be sent with no evidence after the time expired is like handing a gun to a serial killer. A study done at University of Washington stated that 15% of the students polled admitted to sending inappropriate pictures and messages over this app. Now, this does not seem like a high number, but remember that they only polled a set amount of students, and these were the only ones who admitted to explicit pictures.

With approximately 700 million snapchats being sent a day, it really is hard to keep track of who’s sending what and what goes where. Besides, the problem with this is not that people can- and probably will-send inappropriate pictures, who cares what people do with their free time? The problem is with the inner workings of the app itself. Let’s say one particular guy convinces his girlfriend to send a picture of her boobs. She sends it, comforting herself with the thought that it will be gone within ten seconds. According to ABC News, when a picture or video is sent from the app, it is saved into the server of Snapchats network. That’s one permanent copy of a pair of  boobs saved into one part of the internet. Also, new to the Snapchat app is the ability to replay one snap a day. Maybe the boyfriend wasted his replay on his best friend’s funny face, but maybe he didn’t. Also, the most important factor in all of this is the ability to screenshot. Used to, not all phones were able to use this feature. Now, with most phones able to capture a snap forever with a simultaneous click of the power and home button, that pair of boobs is forever saved into the boyfriend’s phone. He can look at it whenever he wants, show it to whoever he wants, and use it for any purpose he wants. Sure, the app warns you after someone has screenshotted your snap, but what does it matter after the fact?

Many people have experienced the harsh reality of having their sexts released either onto the internet or to another individual, even celebrities. According to The Daily Beast, in early October of this year there was a hack into an illegal third party app that the Snapchat server has been trying to remove known as SnapSave.com. Over 90,000 explicit pictures and 9,000 vulgar videos were released to the public in a movement known as ‘The Snappening’. Amongst these were, Rihanna (singer of We Found Love), Calum Hood (bassist for the band 5 Seconds of Summer), and Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss in The Hunger Games). This was the largest leak of explicit photos ever. Though many teenagers are not using the app as a primary source to send inappropriate messages, focusing on their double chins and duck faces instead, the app is still incredibly dangerous. Who’s to say if someone will hack into the Snapchat server and leak all of the naked shots ever sent? Who’s to say it won’t happen to any innocent bystander? No one, so be careful what’s being sent, because nothing disappears forever.

Snapchat has been downloaded  by over 100 million people
Snapchat has been downloaded by over 100 million people
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    FergOct 29, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Alex – a well-developed and informative discussion on a very serious topic that needs to be discussed instead of whispering about it in corners. This shows the diversity in your writing because you also have a very humorous writing style as well!

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