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7th July 2017

Snapchat SnapMaps - Warnings Issued

Snap Map is a new feature recently added to the social media app 'Snapchat' that lets users share their exact location with people on their "friends" list in real time.

Many schools and parents have criticised the accuracy of the location-sharing feature because of the ease that children could be tracked on the map. It has raised some serious safeguarding concerns - it could be used to build up a picture of home addresses, friends houses, travel routes, schools, workplaces and daily routines.

Others have warned that this feature could lead to young people being emotionally damaged, for example imagine logging in to the app to see where your friends are and seeing they've all gone bowling without you, that's not going to make you feel very good is it? 

Not to mention that this feature can be used by controlling partners in abusive relationships, jealous ex's, thieves, stalkers, bullies etc. 

Yes the location information is only shared those on your friends list...however this friends list could include people children and young people do not know, they could be 'friends' they have met on other apps, online games or websites, or even someone completely random that sent them a friend request that they have accepted. Think about your Facebook friends list...how many of those people are not your close friends, and how many of those people would you want to be able to see what you're doing and where you are at all times? 

Luckily, you are able to go into 'ghost' mode; this means you won't show up on the map. But this is not the automatic setting, you must do this yourself. 

CEOP/Thinkuknow have produced a parent/carer guide to Snapchat, including information on how to go into 'ghost' mode, you can read this by clicking here! - Please feel free to download and share with parents/carers at your schools!