It’s Snapchat, the app known for its sexier side, for turning down a $3 billion offer from Zuckerberg, and for an 18-29 crowd that tends to value its privacy. And now it has Paul! While this crowd isn’t typically adding politicians to their list of friends, they now have the option to add “SenatorRandPaul.”
I got my very first snapchat from Rand Paul! It’s a video of him thanking me for following him on snapchat. No funny faces or captions.
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) January 15, 2014
Now its users aren’t exactly using Snapchat for serious political discussions, but the app itself has an appeal for an audience that Paul is targeting. An audience that is concerned with Internet freedom and privacy especially in light of the NSA scandal.
The rise of Snapchat and other services that promise anonymity and security are tempting tools for those seeking privacy on the Web. According to Pew, 86 percent of U.S. Internet users have taken steps to mask their online footprints. (Bloomberg)
Reading through the series of Gmails between Bridget Anne Kelley and David Wildstein, it’s easy to imagine an alternate scenario of the two of them giggling and swapping photos of the bridge mayhem on the George Washington Bridge via Snapchat. Self-destructing photos would have at least avoided the embarrassing e-mail paper trail (e.g. “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee… Got it”), complicating any efforts to find out who was responsible for the scandal. (Washington Post)
When you look beyond the trivial surface of Snapchat, there’s definitely that core idea of “I don’t want everything I say or do to be online forever….or to be visible to extra unknown parties.”
“…there’s no doubt that we’re witnessing a sea change in how we use and think about the Web. We’re aware, more than ever, of the potential privacy implications of signing up for social networks. Internet users are aware that anything they do or say online might surface again in the future. No wonder the race is on to create new Internet tools that protect personal privacy. Especially after the NSA scandal, we no longer assume that nobody’s watching.” (Washington Post)
Rand Paul might be on the right track and potential young voters will get a kick out of him being on Snapchat… or they’ll add him about as quickly as they would their grandmother. Either way, I’m still here waiting for my first “snap”. At least I know he’ll have his pants on.
Twitter is apparently down so I’m just going to Snapchat Rand Paul all day.
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 15, 2014
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