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Snapchat Speed Filter and 420 Bob Marley Filter provokes controversy

  • Snapchat gets sued over Speed Filter; 420 Bob Marley Filter sees opposition

Snapchat could use a little assistance in the public perception arena these days. Both the Snapchat speed filter and the 420 Bob Marley filter have landed the image-heavy smartphone app in hot water. For the kinds of Snapchat photos extras that are designed to enhance the Snapchat experience, Snapchat is being sued for things they apparently didn’t foresee as being problematic.

However, if you ask a lot of people, when it comes to both of those filters, Snapchat should have done something a whole lot sooner.

Snapchat Speed Filter Controversy

Two major recent events have put a serious dent in Snapchat’s popularity. While the app will likely continue to be popular, some people believe that the makers behind Snapchat have a lot to answer for. The speed filter is right at the top of the list. It is the reason why Snapchat is being sued. It is also one of the reasons why some may need to remember that even things as innocuous as Snapchat photos can contribute to lawsuits, paralysis, extreme racial insensitivity, or even death.

The Snapchat speed filter refers to one of the many filters that can be used in conjunction with the main Snapchat app. The idea behind the speed filter is to encourage users to take snaps while driving at high speeds in their vehicle. At varying levels of high speeds receive a trophy. Even on paper, the logic behind such a filter is questionable, at best. Maynard Wentworth, who is currently suing both Snapchat and Christal McGee, the teenager responsible for the accident, is no doubt questioning the logic behind Snapchat’s bizarre decision. It was Wentworth who suffered a traumatic brain injury due to McGee utilizing the filter while driving (at negligent speeds of 107 mph in a 55 mph zone). Unable to work, and with stacks of hospital bills to consider, Wentworth’s decision to sue Snapchat should not be taken lightly.

Currently, Snapchat is fighting the lawsuit.  In addition, Snapchat released a statement reminding the media and users that the filter comes with a warning about using it while on the road.

And while no one is currently suing over the 420 Bob Marley filter, the public backlash against the filter is just as damaging to the public perception of Snapchat. To commemorate the celebration of well-known (weed) holiday of 420, Snapchat released the Bob Marley filter. The idea behind the filter was that users could merge Marley’s face with their own along with a rastafa hat, dreadlocks, and skin tone. While the concept is not without precedent, as there are filters that allow for celebrity face swaps, a Rastafarian filter, and similar things, the Marley filter in particular is being met with a considerable degree of anger. Some argue that the filter severely diminishes the accomplishments, beliefs, and work of Bob Marley. However, Snapchat has rebutted the arguments stating that the filter was created in cooperation with the Marley estate. Others argue that the filter is insensitve (even racist).

Regardless of how you might feel, the damage has been done. The social and safety implications of Snapchat usage is a conversation that is not likely to die any time soon and it could be a matter of time that the next Snapchat scandal takes to the headlines.

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