Last updateWed, 13 Dec 2017 8am


Snapchat Could Pay a Price for Introducing “Snapcash”

In recent years, more and more people are declaring themselves self-proclaimed photographers. First is was Photo Shop, then it was Instagram, now it’s Snapchat?

On Nov. 17, Snapchat announced they have added a new feature to the app, “Snapcash.”

According to a blog post on the company’s website, Snapchat teamed up with Square, an application that appears to help with payment processing on laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc.

With Square’s help, Snapchat is able to construct a payment system for its users so that snapchatters can exchange money with another through the application. The company has made it so that one can simply set up their debit card information in their settings as well as agree to their terms and conditions.

Well, actually, their terms and conditions is more or less their signature ghost icon with a large “I agree” banner and miniscule script confirming that the person about to agree is at least 18 years old.

Snapcash did not come say exactly what the money would be used for or why people would want to use it in the first place, but I can only imagine what people are thinking.

It’s safe to assume that Snapchat is monopolizing on the distribution of people’s nude photos.

With the amount of celebrity nudes that were leaked this past year alone, everyone is interested in seeing someone else’s body solely out of curiosity. So why not make them pay for it?

Picture this, a boy and a girl begin snapchatting innocently and then one thing leads to another and one of them asks for a naked picture. Well, assuming that both parties are over the age of 18 and have sufficient money on their debit card, this can all be made possible for a price.

It is unclear as to whether Snapchat has set a maximum or minimum for the amount of money so let’s assume these are very rich people we are dealing with and one of the users asks for $500. So let’s further assume that it’s the boy sending the girl the money and low and behold, she sends the boy a nude photo!

It terrifyingly simple as it is potentially dangerous. Here you have someone paying for a picture of another person and who’s to say they’re the only one who else is going to see it. Will Snapchat automatically save the photo for them because they paid for it? Will the receiver screenshot it because they did in fact pay for it? Or can we expect that the boy in the hypothetical situation will be so satisfied with his purchase that he won’t mind the picture only staying on his phone for three to ten seconds?

Now what if the circumstances were different? What if both parties were under the age of 18 and the nude photos were paid for and sent? Does Snapcash get shut down? Does everyone go to jail? Are charges even pressed in the first place?

Even the Internet could answer my specific Snapcash questions for me. Every time I searched for something relating to Snapchat and Square’s collaboration, there are only feelings of expressed towards the business endeavor.

Aside from Snapchat’s initial post on their site, Forbes predicts that the business partnership between Snapchat and Square will be a success.  There is no mention of the potentially dangerous and life-ruining situations that could come of this, but only prospects of monetary gain.

By simply saying anyone “who [has] a debit card and is 18 or older,” which is exactly what Snapchat said, does not necessarily mean people will follow this rule with regards to using snapcash.

What I interpreted this as: anyone who can get their hands on a debit card can use Snapcash.

There are some people out there under the age of 18 that can easily access a debit card and hook it up to their Snapchat account without the cardholder, whether it be them or a parent, even thinking twice about it. This alone will cause endless problems for Snapchat because this is a very likely situation and catching these people does not seem to be Snapchat’s priority.

Snapchat only wants to make money. They did not fully think through the consequences of having snapcash because if they did, I’m sure they wouldn’t have even introduced it in the first place.

PHOTO COURTESY of Kelly Hughes

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