Encouraging Negligent Conduct Through Technology: Snapchat’s Speed Filter And Potential Liability For Encouraging Unsafe Driving
In a recent Georgia Court of Appeals decision, the Court reversed the trial court’s grant of Snapchat’s motion to dismiss an injured victim’s claims. The trial court ruled that the claims against Snapchat were subject to the immunity provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Accordingly, the trial court dismissed the injured victim’s claims. The Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated the victim’s claims.
The facts of the case were that a driver was using Snapchat’s speed filter while driving. The speed filter, according to the opinion, was produced or created by Snapchat and would show the speed of the vehicle that the Snapchat user is in and that speed could then be posted on Snapchat for others on Snapchat to see. The driver stated to the passenger in the automobile that she was trying to get to 100 m.p.h. so that she could post it to Snapchat. The passenger asked the driver to slow down, but the driver did not, and she collided with an automobile exiting an apartment complex. The injured victim alleged that the Snapchat speed filter encouraged speeding and unsafe driving practices.
In reversing the grant of Snapchat’s motion to dismiss by the trial court, the Court of Appeals reasoned that the CDA shields interactive computer services from liability for content created by third parties. In this case, the Snapchat speed filter was created or produced by Snapchat. Accordingly, the CDA’s purpose of shielding interactive computer services from liability for content produced by third parties was not an issue in the case.
This case is another example of how ever changing technological advances in today’s society can create new hazardous conditions for the public and ultimately personal injury victims. If you have been injured, it is recommended that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after the incident that you believe was caused by the negligence of another individual or company.
Please contact Rumsey & Ramsey at (770) 394-9400 to discuss the facts of your case with a lawyer.