Party foul! Viral Snapchat ruins college kegger

snapchat header

In a recent social media-based college prank, the joke was on the students. The students who love beer, specifically. 

Some people worry Snapchat will corrupt young people by encouraging them to casually flash their nether regions on camera. But the most recent Snapchat snafu actually caused under-21ers to abandon a vice en masse, so maybe abstinence advocates shouldn’t write off the app just yet.

A Snapchat photo that implied police would raid the University of Virginia dorms led to a frantic beer-dump of epic proportions. The message was, in reality, sent anonymously and as a joke by another student (it should come as a surprise to no one that the local police were not using Snapchat as a warning system), but within hours, students were rushing to ditch their contraband.

The Snapchat photo was meant as a prank on just one person – first-year student Meredith Markwood, to be specific. But by the time she forwarded the message to four friends and they in turn forwarded it to others, the simple Snapchat took on a viral life of its own. With almost everyone available on their smartphones and logged in to social media, the rumor circulated with at lightning speed.  When Markwood realized the Snapchat was in jest, she tried to put the kibosh on the story, but people had already started abandoning their alcohol – and refused to believe her. Markwood expressed disbelief at how quickly the rumor spread to UVA’s Cavalier Daily, “I thought ‘I can’t have gotten this to the whole first-year class. I am one person. I don’t even have 700 Facebook friends.’”

News of the faux-raid spread faster than a stick of butter on a hot day: Wildly much out of control and immediately very messy.

Upon learning that all the hysteria was for naught, some students had a sense of humor about it.

The Dean of students Allen Groves took to Twitter to discuss the situation as well, which he didn’t seem too concerned about:

People adopted the hashtag #UVAdormsearch to talk about the incident, which didn’t lead to anyone getting in trouble but may lead students to think twice before pulling a digital prank. Especially one concerning Snapchat: The app has seen insane growth in the last few months, now processing 150 million photos a day. Be careful when you snap and send, kids. 

Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.

Teens are using Google Docs as the modern version of passing notes in class

Google Docs is reportedly being used by teens as a secret communications app. Instead of passing notes, students are now using the software's live chat function or comment boxes to talk with their friends while in the middle of classes.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.