Snapchat is all about filtering images -- it even introduced sponsored filters in June -- but the company doesn't want users faking their location for access. The disappearing-messaging app is now blocking the accounts of users who have installed third-party plug-ins and made jailbreaking tweaks that allow for modifying geolocation.
The blocking, spotted by iDownloadBlog, has been seen for users who employ the jailbreak Phantom. The third-party extension allows users to change their location, save photos without the other user knowing, and set custom notification sounds. Phantom is one of the ways Snapchat users may have seen someone add a filter from a city they don't actually reside in. For example, iDownloadBlog uses an Eiffel Tower sticker, exclusive to Paris residents, in a video tutorial.
Now, Phantom users are seeing a message that reads, "Oh no! Your account has been locked. Please uninstall any plug-ins you may have installed and visit https://www.snapchat.com/unlock." But users do not lose permanent access to their accounts. After uninstalling plugins, Snapchat users can log in to the website to request to unlock.
In a tweet posted July 20 but since deleted, Snapchat's official support Twitter account, @SnapchatSupport, posted "Snapchat will not work on jailbroken devices," iClarified reported. Phantom's developer Twitter user @CokePokes is currently working on a way around the ban.
— CokePokes (@CokePokes) July 21, 2015
Snapchat has taken a firm stand against jailbreaks, adding a ban against third-party applications and tweaks to its "Snapchat Support page" in November 2014. Indeed, investigators of "The Fappening" -- the celebrity nude-photo leak in October 2014 -- attributed the leak to a third-party app called Snapsaved.com and not a hack of Snapchat's servers. The company worked "for months" to remove access from third-party apps and introduce blocks, Steven Levy at Backchannel reported in April.