Snapchat filters just reached a new level of importance.
Chhavi Sachdev, a writer for npr.org, recently wrote an article about how Yusuf Omar, an Indian Journalist for the Hindustan Times, used Snapchat filters to protect the identity of sexual assault victims.
Omar believed that by using the animated filters on Snapchat, a victim of sexual assault could share their experience first-hand, in a “beautiful and personal” way, while still having a sense of security. He created his own account for the sources to use, and he left them in solidarity as they recorded their stories. He then compiled their videos into a 90 second video for the Hindustan Times to spread awareness about sexual assault in a modern way.
I personally love the concept that Omar came up with. To me , it is important that victims of such incidents as sexual assault speak out, not only to spread awareness, but also to allow others who have gone through similar situations to feel as though they are no longer alone. However, I understand that such an experience is not the easiest to share. By using Snapchat filters, Omar was able to bring comfort to his sources while giving them a voice on a prominent platform.
Initially, the idea of Snapchat being used as a platform for journalists was one that I could not quite latch on to (I have always viewed Snapchat as the “least serious” social media channel), but if journalists can utilize its features like Omar did, then it may very well be a step in the right direction.