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Snapchat Is Still Social Media, AI Is Up to No Good (Again), Preventing School Shootings With Tech, and More

Words by
Jake Cutler

FEB 08, 2024

Snapchat Is Still Social Media, AI Is Up to No Good (Again), Preventing School Shootings With Tech, and More

Another week, another batch of safe tech headlines. Here are the biggest tech stories since our last roundup.

Is Snapchat Social Media? Yes, obviously.

Snapchat is seeking to rebrand itself with a new campaign that distances itself from other social media platforms.

The ad campaign positions Snapchat as promoting real friendships and personal connections, rather than likes and shares.

Snapchat has not announced any changes to features on its platform, which includes a long list of dangers for kids and teens.

The campaign comes just days after Snapchat’s CEO was forced to testify before Congress with four other social media CEOs regarding harms caused to adolescents by their platforms.

CampaignUS | Snapchat shuns social media in new campaign

AI Now Being Used For Fake IDs

New applications of AI could make it easier to commit crimes such as bank fraud or laundering stolen money.

One underground website, OnlyFake, uses AI and neural networks to produce realistic fake IDs for just $15 and can generate up to 20,000 documents daily.

Such sites don’t currently offer printing or other workarounds for physical ID verification, but digital fake IDs could be used to bypass digital security measures on everything from banking sites to Airbnb.

404 Media | Inside the Underground Site Where ‘Neural Networks’ Churn Out Fake IDs

Nearly 9 in 10 Teenagers Own an iPhone

According to a recent study, the iPhone continues to be the preferred smartphone among teenagers, with a record 87% of teenagers owning one and 88% expecting it to be their next phone.

The data confirms the pressure many parents feel to give a teen a device they might not be ready for.

Apple Insider | iPhone remains the top smartphone for teenagers, says Piper Sandler

New Tech Shows Potential for Reducing School Shootings

An anonymous reporting system, Safe2Tell, is demonstrating potential in preventing gun violence.

The program encourages students to report concerns about their peers’ behavior or threats without fear of retaliation.

Since its establishment, it has received over 16,000 reports, possibly averting numerous dangerous incidents.

Parents.com | Anonymous Reporting System Shows Promise in Preventing School Shootings

Spotify’s Content Filter Fails to Block Explicit Lyrics

After taking a closer look at the music streaming giant’s explicit content filter, the BBC found explicit lyrics by dozens of big songs by artists were still being displayed.

In response to parental pressure, Spotify introduced a single explicit content filter setting in 2018.

The BBC reported that Spotify declined to comment but “is aware of the problem and working to fix it.”

BBC | Spotify’s content filter fails to block explicit lyrics in dozens of hits

State Politicians Continue to Battle Big Tech

In the latest chapter of the battle between state legislators and Big Tech, Utah is pushing for new protections for kids.

State legislators are seeking to require device manufacturers to add content filters to devices.

Separately, Utah leaders are also pressuring social media companies to get rid of algorithmic feeds and introduce features that limit time on their platforms for minors.


KSL.com | Utah could require device manufacturers to add content filters to phones, tablets for kids

KSL.com | Utah lawmakers want social media companies to ditch algorithmic feeds, limit time for minors

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