Recently, I came across the tweet above — a newstory about a couple that had been arrested after posting a series of snapchats of them shooting guns outside of their car windows. The first question that came to my mind — and probably came to mind for many others — is why they thought that shooting guns out of a car window was an appropriate thing to do. After reading Roberts’ article, I began to give this situation more thought.
One of the biggest reasons that Snapchat became so popular was because of its ability to allow users to post anything they wanted in the moment of its occurrence. While other social media platforms allow you to “flag” posts (which, as Roberts points out, is typically where the CCM process begins for larger platforms), Snapchat makes it a little more difficult to raise attention to snaps that users might deem to be inappropriate. Furthermore, in reference to the snaps in the tweet above, the ability for users to post snaps with real guns in live action should not be possible in the first place. Due to the nature of Snapchat, however, this prior screening is not possible. Instead, you must go to the Snapchat website and fill out a form to file a report, what might be considered a daunting task for most.
The flip side to not being screened/flagged on Snapchat was that, as seen in this case, it allowed for the culprits to be detained. Furthermore, Roberts would potentially make the argument that this content could be used as advocacy — for, for example, gun control. The fact that the series of snaps made its way to the Twitter world (and received over 6,000 retweets/8,000 likes) is also telling of the power of social media.