Snap has said it will temporarily suspend its heatmap feature for Ukraine. This will make it impossible for the app to show the number of snaps being taken per locations. According to Snap, the measure is being taken as a precaution to protect Snapchat users in Ukraine. The company however, said there will still be a curated public feed of snaps submitted by users in Ukraine.
Snap in my opinion is doing this in Ukraine to block Russia from using the feature to track evacuation or movement of citizens. Snap is not the first to take such step; Google and Apple already have their live traffic features turned off in Ukraine to protect citizens.
To ensure civilians in Ukraine do not get caught up in the crisis, Twitter had last week activated its safety tips feature.
Twitter’s Safety team started sharing some useful tips for Ukrainians—the tips include how users in the East European country can protect their privacy and stay safe online. The tips included how users can delete their accounts, protect their accounts with 2FA, find out if their accounts are public or protected, and a couple of others.
“When using Twitter in conflict zones or other high-risk areas, it’s important to be aware of how to control your account and digital information.” The tweets were shared in both English and Ukrainian.
Following the taken over of power by the Taliban Islamic group in Kabul last August, Facebook announced a new one-click tool to help Afghans lock their accounts. The tool ensures that Afghans can quickly lockdown their Facebook accounts. They can hide their “friends” lists, which protects their privacy. In a thread on Twitter, head of security at Facebook, Nathaniel Gleicher, said that the changes were put in place based on feedback from civil society groups, journalists, and activists.
Also, Facebook temporarily removed the ability to view and search the “Friends” list for Facebook accounts in Afghanistan. This measure will protect people in that country from being targeted by the Taliban government.
Some security tips have also been provided for Instagram users in the Islamic country. The social media giant has rolled out pop-up alerts on Instagram in Afghanistan. The alerts will provide specific steps on how people in the troubled country can protect themselves.
Clubhouse too was not left out—the social audio platform reset thousands of users’ accounts in Afghanistan. Th move would made it difficult for their bios and photos to be discovered in search.