It’s time to stop Snapping and driving, once and for all.
Snapchat is getting rid of a controversial filter that let users share how fast they are moving — and, according to the company, the decision was a long time coming. If you no longer see the ability to track your speed in your app, you might be wondering why Snapchat removed the speed filter. Here’s why the feature, which was first introduced in 2013, will soon be history.
A June 17 NPR report that revealed the company would get rid of the filter, and in an emailed statement to Elite Daily, Snapchat confirmed the move. A Snapchat spokesperson tells Elite Daily, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our Snapchat community.” The decision to remove it was also due to users’ apparent lack of interest in the feature. “Today the sticker is barely used by Snapchatters, and in light of that, we are removing it altogether,” the spokesperson says.
The once-popular speed filter, which basically calculates how fast you’re moving at that moment and shares that miles-per-hour (mph) stat with your followers, has come under scrutiny over claims it has encouraged reckless driving. Its removal comes a little over a month after the filter was in the news again. On May 4, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled Snapchat could be sued for the speed filter's alleged role in a May 2017 accident in which the Snap filter clocked the driver at 123 mph, per The Washington Post, but the social media platform didn’t link the ruling to its decision to do away with the speed filter for good.
According to court documents filed on June 15, Snap asked for the case to be tossed with the argument that the filter didn’t cause the accident, per NPR. A Snapchat spokesperson tells Elite Daily, “We can't comment on specifics given this is pending litigation, but this was a devastating situation.”
According to a Snapchat spokesperson, the company “had previously disabled the ability to use the filter at driving speeds.” Snap added a “Don’t snap and drive” warning as a way to combat reckless driving and switched the speed feature from a filter to a sticker, which made it a little less accessible when you first opened the app. Amidst the latest controversy, Snapchat finally made the decision to pull the plug on the once-popular filter and has already started the removal process as of June 17.
According to Snap, it will take quite a few weeks before it’s removed from all Snapchatters. So, if it isn’t gone from your app already, chances are you’ll see the last of the speed filter sooner rather than later.