Snapchat Policies Capture Controversy

With Snapchat’s new policy change announced on Oct. 28, many people are in an uproar.  The company released a statement, which seemed as though it was giving them full rights to keep private photos of its users. However, the company denies this claim by releasing a statement that the only real change to the policy was rewriting them, “so that they’d read the way people actually talk.” However, the company’s press release has not done much to put its users at ease, and students at Mt. Hebron are no different.

“I’m not sure I like that Snapchat is just taking my photos now,” said junior Tommy Reese, expressing his opinion about the new changes.

Although students were angry about the changes, most had not actually read the terms of conditions. Many students obtained information about the changes from other individuals or twitter posts of certain selective phrases.

The culture of not reading has facilitated the over-reaction to the new terms by the public, leading to questions of who is correct. Has snapchat sold out and started to collect information? Has the story been blown out of proportion?

The diction in the private policy seems threatening, with phrases like, “you grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free… license to host, store, use, display… content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).” With terms like this, it is easy to believe that Snapchat is collecting all of a user’s data for its own use.

However, the company has assured its users that these policies are only to provide the company immunity from having to pay royalties to its users. This allows Snapchat to be able to incorporate any advice or feedback you provide them or any ideas an individual gives without having to pay for the right to use them. The clause, which allows Snapchat to keep personal information for their own use, has to deal with already made public photos such as live local story contributions and profile pictures.

In addition to the changes regarding the terms and conditions, Snapchat has also changed their replay feature. Instead of one free replay every day, users are now allowed to purchase replays from the app store seemingly as many times as they want.

“I don’t really use the replay ever, but I guess having more replays would help me to remember older snaps I sent,” commented senior Matthew Wingate.

The movement to more in-app purchases was foreshadowed by ad-based snap stories appearing earlier this year.

Whether or not people should delete their snapchat accounts in response to this new update is undecided. However, nothing major has changed within the app, and users’ private images are still deleted off of the companies’ servers.

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