Snapchat has taken a step towards maximizing inclusion on its platform with the launch of new wheelchair animations for Bitmoji characters.
As explained by Snapchat:
“Bitmoji’s mission has always been to create avatars that reflect and represent the diversity of our community. And while we recognize that we have more work to do, today we hope to become one step closer in reaching our greater goal of making inclusivity a fundamental part of our Bitmoji avatar platform.”
As you can see above, the new Bitmoji stickers will feature avatars in a manual wheelchair, which Snapchatters and Bitmoji users can now add to their posts. That provides more options for users to portray themselves more accurately within the Snap environment, which will be a welcome update for the app.
Snapchat says that it went to significant effort to ensure the new additions were both accurate and representative:
“To create this first round of designs, we gathered their feedback, and worked closely with our disability rights advisor – both collectively guiding us in their design, specifically around the manual wheelchair’s details: the arm guard, the foot rest, the fabric of the seat, and how the spokes are positioned.”
Moving forward, Snap says it’s looking to add more forms of representation within its Bitmoji options. For this, it’s put the call out to the user community for more feedback, both on these latest additions and potential new ones to expand its listings.
Snapchat has been criticized in the past over its lack of support for accessibility features, particularly in regards to vision-impaired users. As such, the addition of a more diverse range of Bitmoji characters could point to a new focus on this front, which could make the app more welcoming to a much larger range of users.
If you want to use the new Bitmoji wheelchair additions:
- Open the Bitmoji app, Bitmoji Keyboard, or Chrome Extension
- In the search bar, type in “wheelchair”
- Scroll to find the Bitmoji wheelchair sticker options
You can read more about Snap’s new additions here.
UK eyes big TikTok fine over child privacy lapse
Image: – © AFP Kazuhiro NOGI
Britain on Monday warned it could fine TikTok £27 million ($29 million) over a potential failure to protect children’s privacy on the Chinese-owned video app.
The Information Commissioner’s Office said the social media company “may have processed the data of children under the age of 13 without appropriate parental consent”.
The ICO also found that the short-form video platform may have “failed to provide proper information to its users in a concise, transparent and easily understood way”.
The watchdog has served the group with a notice of intent — which is a legal document that precedes a possible fine — over the possible breach of UK data protection law.
“We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections,” said Information Commissioner John Edwards.
“Companies providing digital services have a legal duty to put those protections in place, but our provisional view is that TikTok fell short of meeting that requirement.”
In response, TikTok said it disagreed with the ICO’s provisional views and stressed that no final conclusions had been reached.
“While we respect the ICO’s role in safeguarding privacy in the UK, we disagree with the preliminary views expressed and intend to formally respond to the ICO in due course,” TikTok said in a statement.
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