Snap has suspended two external apps that allow users to send anonymous messages through the Snapchat platform after a lawsuit sought to hold them responsible for the death of a teenager, according to the report. mentioned Los Angeles Times newspaper.
The move comes on the heels of a lawsuit brought by the mother of an Oregon teen who died by suicide last year, months after receiving bullying messages via Yolo and LMK.
The Q&A apps use Snap Kit, which is a suite of tools that allow developers to connect to Snapchat.
A Snap spokesperson said in a statement: In light of the serious allegations raised by the lawsuit, and out of extreme caution for the safety of the Snapchat community, we are suspending both Yolo’s Snap Kit integration and LMK while investigating these allegations.
Yolo and LMK are developed by third-party developers, and are integrated with Snapchat via the Snap Kit platform.
And LMK allows users to create polls and Q&A for their Snapchat friends to answer, while Yolo focuses on Q&A.
Both services allow users to send messages anonymously, which facilitates cyberbullying so much that the apps should be considered dangerous, the lawsuit alleges.
And when the family found the teen dead last year, his phone log showed that he had searched for how to “reveal your YOLO username online the same day.
The lawsuit alleges that over a period of several months he received anonymous bullying letters that ridiculed him over incidents at the school.
Both apps make different promises about protection from bullying across their platform, and it is said: Yolo warns users during setup that it has no tolerance for objectionable content or abusive users, while LMK’s FAQ says: It is doing its best to protect its community with a mix of automated and human supervision.
The plaintiffs argue that the apps violated consumer protection laws by not enforcing their terms of service.
Article 230 of the Communications Etiquette Act of 1996 generally protects social media companies from the behavior of their users.
Section 230 typically applies to posts rather than app functionality, and US courts have recently shown a willingness to hold the platforms accountable when a particular integration turns out to be dangerous.
Last week, an appeals court ruled that Snap could be sued over the speed filter, after allegations it encouraged reckless driving.
The claim indicated that product design encourages risky behavior, with users believing that reaching speeds of up to 100 mph unlocks an achievement.
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