New Snapchat feature raising red flags for parents& police


BRISTOL, Tenn. - More than 100 million people use Snapchat everyday, including thousands right here in the Tri-Cities. But its newest feature, Snapmap, is raising red flags.

12-year-old Zoe Arrington and 11-year-old Emma Smith are two of the 71 million Americans who use the app on a daily basis. But Bristol, Virginia Police say the Snapmap could put kids like them in danger.

"Some of these features on social media that give your location are very dangerous," Captain Maynard Ratcliff says.

Snapmap users share their exact location with their friends in real time, but police say someone who may be your friend on social media may not actually be who you think they are.

"We don't know who's really looking at it and who's got access," Captain Raycliff says. "It could be sexual predators or child molesters."

Captain Ratcliff suggests parents sit down with their children and talk about what should and should not be posted online. After telling Zoe's dad about some of the safety concerns with Snapmap, he says he's taking action.

"We're going to get the phone and make sure that feature is turned off," Trey Arrington, Zoe's father, says.

And the young Snapchatters seem to understand why.

"You don't want them to go to your house and get a hold of you and kill you," Emma Smith, an 11-year-old Snapchatter, says.

If you don't want your friends to see your exact location, you can turn the GPS tracking off by switching the app into ghost mode.

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