Critics of new app say it promotes sexting
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 10:02
Innovative and thought-provoking smartphone applications are being developed every day by new and inquisitive developers and programmers.
Most notably, Apple’s iPhone has made the use of apps as commonplace as simply having a phone. With apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram dominating the market, a team of developers hope to claim app stardom with the development of the new app Snapchat.
Developed by a group of friends from Stanford, the app made its debut in late 2012 and has taken the consumer world by storm with over 50 million “snaps” per day, according to Techcrunch.com.
The program is a photo-sharing app that allows users to exchange pictures for a set amount time before the photos disappear from the receiving user’s phone.
“Snapchat is a new way to share photos with friends and family,” Snapchat’s developer said. “We’re making ‘social media’ fun again, and we’re totally mobile.”
The new application has been turning some heads, including those of teens and preteens where its popularity is most abundant. Because of this demographic, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the app.
“Chatting has taken a new turn with picture chat,” Leslie Meridith of Tech News Daily said. “Friends send snapshots to one another that often express more than most 140-character tweets. Some say these apps take sexting to a new level; teens are firing off snapshots using Snapchat in record numbers. Recent estimates have put the number of daily, shared Snapchat photos on par with Instagram — about 5 million a day.”
There are many critics who say the app encourages safe sexting. Photos sent with the app are only visible for the sender’s allotted time and then disappear. The sender is also notified if the person viewing the pictures captures an image with the iPhone’s screenshot
feature. According to Nick Bilton, a writer for The New York Times’ Bits, the app is the first of its kind to “help people do things they probably shouldn’t on a smartphone.”
“The minute you tell someone that images on your server disappear, everyone jumps to sexting,” the app’s co-founder Evan Speigel says about the unintended uses of the app.
“Any app that involves teens, photos and sharing must include a review of safety features,” Meridith said, “and the makers of Snapchat, pioneers in the picture-chat space, including several safety mechanisms that stand out.”
The app, according to Joe Delgrosso (freshman, business), isn’t about sexting. It’s about fun.
“Snapchat gives you a chance to send pictures of funny faces and funny situations without having to feel self conscious about it later,” Delgrosso said. “It’s just a fun app that a lot of people are taking out of hand.”
Some student’s disagree about the dangers of Snapchat.