Snapchat Under Pressure Thanks to Instagram

For years, Snapchat was a one of a kind app for users who wanted to share funny series of photos from their days. Recently, though Instagram has come out with a “Stories” feature that is very similar to the Snapchat story feature, where photos and videos can be linked together for the user’s friends to view. While this sort of competition does not always pose a problem or threat, Snapchat is seeing a mass exodus of users since the new Instagram feature was rolled out.

In the past year, Snapchat introduced two racially insensitive filters, a “Bob Marley” filter that essentially showed the user in black face and an “anime” filter that makes users look like an yellow face Asian caricature. Instagram Stories does not have filters like these and is much like the early versions of Snapchat. If Snapchat was still the only app of its kind, users would be more likely to air their complaints on social media or to the company but still keep the app. Now that another app acts as a more sensitive, politically correct alternative, users do not feel the need to stay.

Though Snapchat tried to play the yellow face filter off as “anime,” users who are familiar with anime characters know that this is a poor cover-up. According to Karen North, director of USC Annenberg’s Digital Social Media program, the digital age makes it hard to use excuses companies often try to rely on when they slip up, like saying users are too sensitive or they are taking things out of context. “When you’re a platform that has such broad distribution, meaning anything digital, there’s a responsibility to vet things much more carefully than people did in the brick and mortar days,” she says.

The fact that Instagram is now a kind of two for one app, users may also delete Snapchat for sheer ease of use and to save on phone storage space. Why bother keeping two similar apps on your phone when you can have one that does it all?

Police Investigate Snapchat Video Posted by Students

Police are investigating a video that was posted to the Snapchat social network.  Doctors say that the video reportedly depicts three students bullying a special needs student.

Students at Greece Athena high school alerted the principal that a video showing a group of students harassing another student in the restroom had been posted to Snapchat. The video shows the three students putting a fourth student into a “compromising position.”

It is not the first time that at least one of the students has been investigated by the school for their behavior. One of the students involved is reportedly the same student who was video taped harassing bus monitor Karen Klein back in 2012. The disturbing video of the prior incident showed the student taunting Klein about her weight and physical appearance.

“You’re so ugly that your kids should just kill themselves,” was one of the taunts toward Klein, whose son committed suicide a decade ago.

The school principal contacted Greece, NY police authorities who are working together to determine if a crime had been committed. Most of the students who knew of the incident learned about it on social media websites. The school district has asked for students to refrain from discussing the incident, particularly through social media networks.

Parents and other students have voiced their concern over the bullying incident.