A doppler radar of Hurricane Harvey over Texas next to a Snapchat taken with a Hurricane Harvey geofilter.

Screengrab via weather.com Photo via Hannah Grasso/Snapchat

Snapchat’s Hurricane Harvey geofilter bristles Texans weathering the storm

'I'm glad to see our life a joke to y'all.'


Samantha Grasso


Posted on Aug 26, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 7:18 pm CDT

Under the threat of flooding, electrical outages, and property damage resulting from Hurricane Harvey’s weekend downpour, Texans across Corpus Christi and Houston are wondering—why the hell did Snapchat think it was a keen idea to roll out a Hurricane Harvey geofilter?

And Texans aren’t feeling Snapchat’s moves:

Yes, Snapchat geofilters can be a fun and expressive way to share your location with your friends, but amid a natural disaster bringing 40 inches of rain that may leave the most severe areas of the state inhabitable for weeks—and possibly even months—the filter comes off as careless and crass.




Really? While the state faces destruction and possibly even death, Snapchat thought the best way to approach the storm would be to hand Texas a geofilter? It comes off as an extremely capitalistic, disingenuous bone thrown to the storm’s targets, especially given the political overtones of the storm crashing during an unprepared administration with several vacancies, in a state where its most vulnerable people initially had to choose between staying during the hurricane or risking detention by U.S. Border Patrol.

Alas, not everyone has taken issue with the filter, as evidenced by the natural disaster’s Snapstory, and some seem to be making the best of a bad situation.

A Snapchat using the Hurricane Harvey geofilter
Screenshot via Snapchat App
A Snapchat using the Hurricane Harvey geofilter
Screenshot via Snapchat App

Cheers, folks. And try to keep that Snapchat geofilter usage limited to indoors, where it’s safe.

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*First Published: Aug 26, 2017, 11:20 am CDT