What is Snap Map?

Law enforcement and safety activists were quick to acknowledge the dangers of Snapchat’s new app function, Snap Map. This new tool allows users to share their location in real time, giving other users permission to track their whereabouts. “We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world!” Snapchat wrote in a blog post announcing the new update.

Several police forces have issued child safety warnings since the update was released last week in hopes that parents will talk to children about the risks of the new map component.

A spokesperson for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said in an interview, “It’s worrying that Snapchat is allowing children under 18 to broadcast their location on the app where it can potentially be accessed by everyone in their contact lists. With public accounts, this will include those who are not known to the user. This highlights why it’s vital that children are automatically offered safer accounts on social media to ensure they are protected from unnecessary risks.”

Parents, ask your teens if they have already utilized this new feature, and if they have thought about the repercussions. Snapchat does allow users to turn off the map component. Users can do so by turning on “Ghost Mode” within the apps settings.