With Snapchat reeling from last week’s hack, the ephemeral picture message suffered a further blow – it’s been blocked from the WiFi networks of prestigious British boys school Eton College.
The school, which counts 19 British Prime Ministers among its alumni, has decided to block Snapchat after fears that it could be used by pupils to send sexual or abusive mages.
The app, available on iOS and Android phones and tablets, will still work if devices are connected to 3G. But while the ban won’t stop students from using the service, headmaster Tony Little hopes that it will send a message (no pun intended).
Speaking to the Telegraph, Little says “Boys can still use it via the 3G phone network, but we hope that blocking it on our network will at least make them think twice.
“This is part of our continuing effort to educate boys in the sensible use of technology.”
Snapchat hasn’t commented on the block but following the well publicised hack, which saw 4.6 million users detailed leaked, it’s renewed efforts to to limit abusive and threatening behaviour.
In a blog post dated January 2, Snapchat said: “Find Friends is an optional service that asks Snapchatters to enter their phone number so that their friends can find their username.
We will be releasing an updated version of the Snapchat application that will allow Snapchatters to opt out of appearing in Find Friends after they have verified their phone number. We’re also improving rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse our service.”
For the uninitiated non-Snapchatters out there, Snapchat is a messaging service that lets users send images and videos to each other which self-destruct after ten seconds once they’re opened.
While messages auto-delete, recipients of messages can perform a screengrab if they want to save images, meaning it’s still possible for sexting to happen on Snapchat.
Twitter is currently home to unofficial profiles like @sexy_snapschat, which features nude and semi-nude images seemingly harvested from the service.
At the time of writing, the Twitter account was still active and images it posted were easily accessible from a mobile browser (Chrome for Android) with an active adult content filter (on O2’s network).
Parents can download apps like Mobicip Safe Browser (iOS) and McAfee Family Protection (Android) for their children’s phones and tablets or make use of TalkTalk MobileSafe if they’re TalkTalk customers.