According to the Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit, a lawsuit can be brought against Snap because of the speed filter in the Snapchat app, which is said to encourage reckless driving, despite the general legal protection of social networks.
The court revived Issue It was rejected in 2020, It concluded that even if users were to use the filter to display high driving speeds, the company might still be implicitly responsible for that behavior.
The case was filed after a Snapchat user had a fatal accident in 2017 while using the filter, as he was driving at a speed higher than 190 kilometers per hour in the hope of attracting attention and interest from followers.
The accident resulted in the death of the driver and two passengers.
Two of the victims’ parents filed a lawsuit against the company for manslaughter, saying the combination of an ambiguous achievement system and a speed filter urged users to drive at unsafe speeds.
The parents explained that many teens believed they were getting a secret milestone at speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour.
Snap responded that there was no such achievement and that it was providing the tool for users to post their own content, a procedure mostly protected under Section 230 of the Communications Etiquette Act.
The court did not rule whether Snap was responsible, but it concluded that the company is not protected here under Section 230, which prohibits prosecution of websites and applications for what users post, because this case is not related to what someone posted on Snapchat, but rather related to the design of the application itself. .
The court said: Snap should be treated like any other company that makes a product that could injure or harm consumers. Snap has indisputably designed Snapchat’s rewards system and speed filter and made those aspects available to users. This type of claim is based on the premise that manufacturers are obligated to exercise due diligence in supplying products that do not pose an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to the public.
The lawsuit has been filed against the company over the expected consequences of designing Snapchat in a way that encourages risky behavior.
A lower court reached a different conclusion last year, noting that Snapchat had warned users not to drive at high speeds, and said: The lawsuit was trying to hold Snap accountable for a user who acts dangerously and publishes about him.
The speed filter has an ambivalent history in the courts, with an Uber driver filing a lawsuit against the company separately in 2016 after colliding with a Snapchat user trying to reach a speed of 160 kilometers per hour.
In this case, a lower court initially sided with the driver, but the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned the decision saying that the Snapchat speed filter was not designed to encourage speed.
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