For immediate release:
MSP RECEIVES ASSURANCES FROM COUNCIL REGARDING “DANGEROUS” SNAPCHAT FACILITY
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has received written assurances from South Lanarkshire Council regarding a feature on the social media app Snapchat which allows strangers to view posted videos from within schools.
Currently, Snapchat users can search for schools using the public groups function which could then show any Snapchat message posted at or near a school, including images and videos of pupils. As we reported last week (14th February), Ms Haughey joined the campaign to remove Rutherglen and Cambuslang schools, along with schools Scotland-wide, from strangers’ Snapchat searches.
Snapchat have confirmed they are rolling out a block on ‘primary schools’ and all other related terms in both search and map search result, however Ms Haughey believes that the app should introduce a block for secondary schools too.
After writing to South Lanarkshire Council with her concerns, the Rutherglen MSP has since received a response from South Lanarkshire Council. Tony McDaid, the Executive Director of Education Resources, advises that the council will contact Snapchat to request that they review the use of the tagging feature for all schools, and that they will raise the issue with school staff.
Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:
“South Lanarkshire Council’s response to my concerns about the Snapchat search feature is incredibly reassuring.
“It is welcome that Snapchat will remove primary schools from their search function, but they must go further and adopt the same approach for secondary schools. In the meantime, I am grateful that the council will contact all secondary schools to make them aware of this feature.”
Cllr Katy Loudon, the council’s chairwoman of the education resources committee, added:
“The safety of pupils in our schools is of paramount importance – and in an increasingly technological world it is vital that we keep them safe online too.
“As a council we will make representations to Snapchat asking them to review the use of tagging within all schools so that we can further support pupils in staying safe whilst using the app.”
Please find attached the response from South Lanarkshire Council to Clare Haughey MSP regarding the Snapchat search feature.
Date published: 20th February 2018