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Throughout the lives of Washington High school students, social media holds a large impact on many of the students daily. From TikTok to Instagram To Snapchat, many of these media hold a significant influence on today’s generation, including students. Specifically, the social media app Snapchat, in which users are able to send and receive vanishing pictures and videos in addition to messages to one another, launched a new feature to its app for all users. This feature includes an AI chat bot (powered by the well known ChatGPT), in which users are able to interact, ask questions to, and simply use to their benefits.
Throughout the past week, this Chat Bot has sprung to gain numerous attention over many additional platforms, for its alleged outspoken language. According to some users, it was claimed that this chat bot was using offensive and discriminatory language, by specifically using racial slurs. This claim was then followed by screenshots of the inappropriate messages, which ended up going viral, and bringing attention to this issue. Furthermore, if an impactful social media app utilizes this negative language, it may influence students to think in a negative way conclusively. From the attention that has been brought about this issue, the issue is believed to be fixed, despite there being no public acknowledgment from Snapchat, about this situation.
Washington High School eleventh grade student, Jasdeep Khela, went on to explain how she believes that “this is very wrong,” when asked about the recent reported issue that this chat bot had created, according to users. Moreover Khela went on to indicate how “I think this is really bad, because if even if our social medias are using language like this, who knows how many people will think it is okay to use unjust words.” Khela then ended the question by saying how she hopes snapchat will not allow any more unjust situations to occur.
In addition to these offensive claims that the AI snapchat bot has used, there are also a drastically increased amount of claims that this chat AI bot is able to track the locations of individuals, despite individuals not having their tracking information turned on. Claims have been made by users that despite the bot not being able to tell your exact and current location, it is able to tell locations that surround the user. The part that unsettles users is the fact that no location services were turned on. Charlene Nguyen, a twelfth grader here at Washington High School, went on to explain how she felt this way. Nguyen went on to state how “I didn’t even have my location tracking thing on. It kinda creeped me out to be honest.” She concluded her response by indicating “this just makes me hate snapchat more. First they banned my account unnecessarily, and now they are stalking me. It seems pretty creepy to me.” Likewise, it puts individuals in an usual spot to be suspectful about, where this bot obtains this certain location related information from.
Conclusively, these reports have plummeted the app, Snapchat’s ratings in the app store. Despite the app creating what was supposed to be a positive “friend-like” Ai bot, it has really caused suspicions amongst many of its users throughout the world. As of now, Snapchat still keeps this bot as an unremovable feature of the app, but will this change due to the negativity it has brought? To see an app that many of the students here at WHS use, mirror a negative attribute, it will not be beneficial for society. The app must bring change in an impactful way.
Nishitha Boosi, who is a senior at Washington High School, has lived in Fremont, California for the entirety of her life. She has grown up mostly in the small, but well known town of Niles. This is her first year writing for The Hatchet—Washington High School’s very own newspaper. She enjoys writing about current events, and art. Some of her hobbies include running, spending time with friends, and scrolling through social media. In the future, Nishitha plans on going to university. She is very excited for this school year to continue and prosper!