Using this Snapchat spider filter on kids isn’t funny—it’s cruel

There’s no question about it, playing around with photo and video filters is fun. Who hasn’t spent a few minutes with their kids trying out filters on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook Messenger to give their little ones floppy bunny ears, spooky goth makeup or colourful rainbow vomit? All in good fun, right?

But one video effect maybe be taking the fun too far. Check this out (trigger warning for spider content):

Now, if you’re afraid of spiders, this video was probably hard to watch. But our thinking is that any parent should find this hard to watch. Look how absolutely terrified the poor boy is! It’s no exaggeration to say even one experience like this could potentially create a life-long fear of spiders.

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But even if it doesn’t and it’s quickly forgotten, how is it hilarious to upset a young child like this? Innocent pranks are one thing—it’s probably a good idea to play silly jokes on kids so they don’t take themselves too seriously—but they shouldn’t cause sheer horror. This goes too far. Meanwhile, the adults in the room seem to just think it’s funny.

In the thread that follows the original tweet, other parents shared their kids’ reactions to the same (or similar) spider filter, and admittedly, not all kids react the same way. One kid tried to eat the spider, while another just observed it crawling around with curiosity. But many, many others freaked right out—screaming, scratching at their heads and faces to swat the spider away, and going into full panic mode (as most of us would if we believed a massive spider was crawling on us).

How is this funny? Parents who do this: Give your head a shake. This isn’t cool at all.

Read more:
An age by age guide to kids’ phobias
Does the viral trend of “cheesing” your baby goes too far?

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