The maker of the Snapchat app is eliminating a feature known as the "speed filter" that lets users capture how fast they are moving and share it with friends, NPR has learned.
There have been multiple lawsuits over the years connecting Snapchat to car crashes. One concerning a 2015 car accident in Georgia arrived just a few years after Snapchat was first updated to include the filter. In the years since, the company has demoted the filter to a sticker, burying it in a separate menu, and making it a bit harder to use.
"Nothing is more important than the safety of our Snapchat community, and we had previously disabled the filter at driving speeds," the spokesperson said. "Today the sticker is barely used by Snapchatters, and in light of that, we are removing it altogether."
Of the some 5 billion "snaps" users make every day, the speed feature barely registers in terms of popularity, which is why Snap officials say it is dropping the tool.
Irina Raicu, the director of the Internet Ethics Program at Santa Clara University, said that increasingly, tech companies are doing risk assessments of new products and features to try to get ahead of possible abuses.
Attorneys for the Morby and Brown families told BuzzFeed News they were "gratified" that Snap had "finally chosen to take down the speed filter."
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