Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Consequence-free photo sharing?

A friend of mine asked me the other day if I was using Snapchat yet – she wanted to send me a pic. I said no, but it didn’t take me long to download the free app. 

I’d heard about the app, thought it was a neat idea, but also thought it might lull people into a false sense of security particularly with kids and sexting. After all the app has been touted as a "consequence-free" photo/video sharing platform by many.

For those not familiar with this app - users can send photos and videos, called Snaps to individuals or groups with a an expiration time between one second and 10 seconds before the content dissolves.

During this duration, the recipient must maintain contact with the device's touchscreen designed to inhibit taking a screenshot. If recipients were to take a screenshot the app notifies the sender.

So how safe is it? Well it turns out that a college student Raj Vir has found a way for recipients to "easily save screenshots of 'snaps' in a few simple steps.

Here are those steps

  • While viewing a SnapChat photo, take a screenshot by pressing the home and power button at the same time, while making sure to continue holding on the screen in order to ensure that the picture gets captured.
  • After taking the screenshot, the photo won’t show on the screen and you will be brought back to your list of snaps.
  • Before the photo expires, double tap the home button to bring up the multitasking bar. Once you’ve brought that up, SnapChat won’t recognize your screenshot.

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