New Snapchat update sparks concern from worried parents about their children’s safety


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Social messaging service Snapchat issued an update to their users which has concerned parents about the safety of their children

Snapchat have issued a new update to their users which has caused worry from parents of teenagers who use the messaging service.

The new update means that users of the app will be able to see the location of all their "friends" on a map.

But it's not just showing the general area - it's showing the street and even the house of the person.

The new Maps feature has concerned some parents (Credit: Facebook/ Social+) ©Facebook/ Social+

The update doesn't start sharing the user's location until they access the maps for the first time, but parents are concerned as it does show the precise location of the user on their contacts' maps.

Social+, a social media management service, are aiming to spread awareness of the new update, and posted the following message which has now been shared nearly 45,000 times.

The page wrote: "SNAPCHAT WARNING: Snapchat has introduced a new tracker in the update where you can view the exact location of your friends.

"It can give you the area, town, and street and if you zoom in enough, it shows the house on the street layout.

"Please share this to make people are aware. Snapchat has a lot of young users on, if your children are on please check that they have there location set to Ghost mode, that way no one can see where they are."

Here's how to change the settings to "Ghost mode" (Credit: Snapchat/ Closer) ©Snapchat/ Closer

The page then gave advice on how to turn off the location for the new update: "To do this, make sure the app is the updated version and go to selfie mode on the camera. Then zoom out. It will give you the option of changing to who can see your location."

Once you have zoomed out and gone to the maps section, click the settings in the top right corner and tick Ghost Mode.

Many parents commented on the post in anger.

One mother wrote: "Wtf is snapchat thinking of? When young kids and teens use this app? Where's the private and security of your own wellbeing? Not a good idea!!! Somebody needs their f*cking head looked at for even putting this on... A lot of people could be attacked with this silly location on."

Another wrote: "Thanks for alerting us. Also if you tap the blue mist you can see random people snapchats!!! I just did this in my local area and I've seen where kids and dogs live i.e. Where the Snapchat has taken place possibly. So if I was an unsavoury character I could go stalking or snatching!!!!"

The biggest users of Snapchat in the UK are young girls (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

But others praised the update, saying it would help them to keep track of their own children.

One person wrote: "Everyone's being very negative about this. Maybe it's a good thing to be able to locate your children? Useful if they go missing? Just make sure they only have real friends on Snapchat!"

Another commented: "Wouldn't it come in handy if your kids went missing and you couldn't find them? I don't know which is the worst of the two evils, I'd like to think if your child's missing you can track them yourself and find their location and put your mind at ease is better than not knowing any last location while your waiting for them to be found."

Snapchat had 11.2 million UK users by the end of last year, and Global Web Index found that over 75% of 16-19 year-olds in the UK use Snapchat.

It may be worth checking with your child whether they are using the maps feature if you are worried.

Does your child use Snapchat? Are you worried about the new update? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.


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