Snapchat is receiving a huge backlash from its users as they accuse the social media platform’s newly launched AI of posting content without their permission.
Snapchat never fails to keep itself in controversial talks regarding its safety or non-consensual access to user information. It recently launched an AI chatbot called My AI, which was supposed to enhance the user experience and make posting or finding content easier on the platform. But soon after, it started receiving hatred instead of feedback for supposedly tracking users’ locations and posting stories without permission.
The new chatbot was introduced early last month after testing it on its paying subscribers in late February. The bot is a customized version of ChatGPT molded to become a friendly buddy to have conversations with, ask things, or even add to group chats and have a great laugh. Users can access the chatbot from the top corner, where they normally click to send messages to their friends.
My AI chatbot also posted a story on behalf of a user without even their knowledge. When confronted by the user as to why it published the story, it either gave vague replies or simply ignored the query.
Someone tell me why tf my Snapchat ai is posting Snapchat stories lmaooo pic.twitter.com/lrHhDrNVrs— collin â® (@meiscollinj) August 16, 2023
Having access to post on your behalf without asking or notifying you is a power that no social media platform has, including one of the biggest mainstream ones like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Multiple users have reported that the same story has been posted through their accounts, with the same picture of two colors divided with a diagonal line.
My AI has been promising that it cannot access the app users' location. But ironically, when asked about the nearest McDonald, it gave accurate results with the exact distance from their location.
Let’s say that users might have given the app permission to access their location unknowingly; even the users who have switched on the Ghost mode faced the same issue regarding their location tracking. In one user instance with their location hidden in phone settings and ghost mode enabled in the Snapchat App, the chatbot still gave accurate results.
On asking how it did that, it explained that its AI found the results through a list of popular restaurants based on their IP address. And when the users asked the next question, “What’s my IP Address?” It denied having any access to the user’s IP address itself.
While some people are still trying to figure their way out, some have taken to social media to share their concerns regarding their right to consent and privacy. It has even started completely ignoring some users by not responding to their confrontational or otherwise messages.
HELLO I CONFRONTED SNAPCHAT AI NOW SHES NOT REPLYING WHAT IS THISSSSS pic.twitter.com/DUCdWVU1va— brad (@taylor20753) August 16, 2023
Many users who failed to disable the bot have reportedly deleted the Snapchat app. One famous Youtuber Faze Rug posted about it on Twitter and received over 500,000 views. Including him, over half a million people have already called the new chatbot creepy.
Apart from ignoring most of its users’ messages regarding the topic, Snapchat’s support page posted two replies on Twitter. One response was, “Hi. We’ll need to look further into this.”, which was followed by another one near midnight, “My AI experienced a temporary outage that's now resolved.” Snapchat has not taken concrete steps to address the users’ concerns or rectify any glitch.