The Snapchat account named loyola.snaps was closed on Oct. 28, just hours after The Phoenix released a story about the account’s content. Anonymous student-taken pictures are now being shared on a backup Snapchat account, loyola_snaps.
Loyola.snaps’ closure was announced through Fleek – College Stories, an app that allows students to share anonymous photographs of whatever they want, including pictures of their naked bodies, what appear to be drugs and, as of this past weekend, their Halloween costumes. A notification was sent to all Fleek users.
“Loyola Snaps was banned. Follow the new account on Snapchat: loyola_snaps,” read the notification.
The story published by The PHOENIX, titled “Sex, drugs, Rambler pride,” resulted in a dialogue on an anonymous location-based discussion app called Yik Yak. One person, anonymously posting on Yik Yak, claimed that the article was the reason the loyola.snaps account got banned.
The discussion surrounding these apps has been polarizing within the student body. Some students, such as senior Andrew Obarski, support the right to post whatever they want with Loyola branding attached to it.
“Doing something illegal in front of the Loyola logo is not illegal,” said the 26-year-old history major in a statement to The Phoenix. “The idea that by banning such outlets to freedom of expression you will curb the behavior or thoughts of the student is more foolish than offensive.”
Obarski also said the apps shed light on the Loyola student experience and that banning these apps would be an act of “cowardice.”
“If the smoking of marijuana and underage drinking are prominent, then shying away from this by banning the anonymous expressing of it is an act of cowardice,” Obarski said. “It is closing your eyes in the face of a problem instead of addressing it.”
Other students, such as junior Aaron Carlson, say they don’t believe the expression on these apps constitute “free speech.”
“Those who argue it is free speech are wrong,” said the management and human resource double major. “You represent both yourself and the university, and they have a right to influence how we represent the school.”
The PHOENIX will continue to follow the developments surrounding these apps and the Loyola related accounts. The Phoenix encourages any comment from representatives of these apps.