Snapchat to remove 'speed filter' linked to crashes

Snapchat to remove 'speed filter' linked to crashes
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Snapchat will be removing the "speed filter" that has been linked to several car crashes, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed to The Hill.

The spokesperson said that “nothing is more important than the safety of our Snapchat community,” adding that it had previously disabled the feature at certain driving speeds.

“Today the sticker is barely used by Snapchatters, and in light of that, we are removing it altogether,” the spokeswoman said.

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News of the filter’s removal was first reported by NPR, which noted that the company began removing the feature this week. However, it may take a couple weeks before it’s unavailable to everyone who uses the app.

The feature was first introduced in 2013, according to the news outlet. But over the years, it has been linked to multiple car crashes that have either been fatal or near-fatal.

Most recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that Snapchat could be sued over the filter’s role in a 2017 car crash in Wisconsin that killed three people, according to The Washington Post.

The families of two of the victims — 17-year-old Hunter Morby and 20-year-old Landen Brown — sued in 2019 over the design of the feature.

According to the complaint, one “snap” registered the boys’ speed at 123 miles per hour before their car ran off the road and crashed into a tree and caught on fire. Jason Davis, 17, was also killed as a result.

The car was going 113 miles per hour when it crashed, the suit states.

But that wasn’t the only crash that was reportedly tied to the filter. According to NPR, one crash in 2016 in Georgia left a driver with permanent brain damage, and another crash in Philadelphia the same year led to the deaths of three women.

Snapchat made several changes to the app amid the crashes, eventually setting a limit of 35 miles per hour that posts could be shared for “driving speeds,” the news outlet noted.