How the racist Snapchat video went viral


Andy Moser

A racist video uploaded to Snapchat by an alleged UNF student gathered attention on social media Wednesday night. But how exactly did the video get posted?

For those who don’t know, Snapchat is a social media app that allows users to send pictures and short videos to each other. They can also post pictures and videos to their private “story,” the equivalent of a Facebook profile page, where whatever gets posted remains there for 24 hours unless the user deletes it before then.

Your options when creating a new story on Snapchat.

Aside from private stories, users can create “Geo Stories,” or, stories that can be added to by people in the surrounding area.

Once a picture/video is taken, users can then hit the “send” button, which will bring them to a page allowing them to choose who they want to send it to. Their friends will be listed here, along with an option in the upper right corner that says “create story.” Should they tap that option, Snapchat will then allow them to name the story, determine who can upload content to the story, and choose who can view the story. The video in question was uploaded to one of these stories, titled “BLACKLIVESMATTER”. This story was created by UNF nursing major and freshman Madisen Smith.

Madisen Smith. Photo by Andy Moser.

“At the rally, I decided to make one because I thought it would be fun for people to add their own snaps to it,” Smith said. “It wasn’t until I got back to my dorm, after the rally ended…and I saw what they posted, and so I decided to save that and post that.”

Snapchat also has a “save” function that allows the user to capture what other people post. If she hadn’t captured the video before it was deleted, it may not have been recovered.

Smith then shared the video to Twitter and Instagram, but the video is making the rounds on Facebook, as well.

Smith said seeing the amount of publicity the story has received over the past 24 hours has been overwhelming, but she hopes the story continues to garner more attention as it develops.

“I want it to get bigger,” she said.

Public stories related to Black Lives Matter. The story at the top is the UNF story.

The UNF Facebook page posted a message from President Delaney this morning, declaring the intent to conduct “a full and fair investigation.”

“UNF has a Code of Student Conduct, and if we determine the Code was violated, the University will take responsible and appropriate action,” Delaney said in the post.

Spinnaker will continue to follow this story as more details emerge.