Instagram, Snapchat to disable geotagging at famous universities, vacation destinations


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Social media users will no longer be able to geotag certain locations, announced Instagram and Snapchat during a press conference on April 1. 

“We have noticed an association between the number of geotags at several locations and the number of recent coronavirus cases there,” a spokesperson for Instagram said. “We believe geotagging encourages others to travel and spreads COVID-19. It is in the best interest of Americans for us to temporarily disable geotagging until spring break is over.”

The ban on geotagging is effective immediately and will remain until at least April 9. 

The decision has met much criticism. Junior Jane Smith, who opted to learn virtually and has joined class from the comfort of her beach house for the past week, believes the decision unfairly targets poor high schoolers who cannot stay at the beach long-term.

“Whenever I scroll through my Instagram feed during the school day, which, by the way, only happens during the three-minute breaks each class, I see influencers geotagging during their exotic vacations,” Smith said. “How come once it’s our turn to go out, we’re not allowed to show everyone where we are?”

Smith plans to fly back to Philadelphia tomorrow, before embarking on a car trip to visit all eight Ivy League universities before the end of spring break. Smith originally planned to geotag each university from the comfort of her parents’ car, as many of them currently do not want future students walking on campus, but Instagram is also disabling the geotagging of many famous universities.

Harvard University, one of the eight stops on Smith’s car trip, has seen a 3000% increase in geotagging from this time last year. It plans to sue Instagram and Snapchat for withholding information. 

“We are extremely honored every spring break by the amount of students that visit us and tag us,” a spokesperson for the university said. “We usually use the number of geotags during spring break to predict the revenue from admissions fees for the next year, and these companies’ bans prevent us from using this valuable information.”

This is an ongoing story, and The Spoke will continue to provide updates as we receive more information.

April fools!