Yusuf Omar, mobile editor of the Hindustan Times, gave survivors of sexual assault in Mysore, India, the option of a Snapchat filter to obscure their features. It was technologically savvy attempt to give them a sense of safety while they told their stories.

The coverage was for The Climb Against Sexual Abuse, which is an organization that works to break the silence around sexual abuse and plans actual hikes with organizers and survivors. Omar told Journalism.co.uk that he chose Snapchat for more than its ability to hide faces:

Recording with a mask gave them the sense of legitimacy and security that I wasn’t going to be able to show their face, as opposed to trusting a journalist saying ‘Yes, we will blur you afterwards,’ so they felt empowered and in control of the narrative.

Using the inside camera, they felt like they were looking in a mirror...

They weren’t telling their story to me or a camera, they were just looking at themselves in a phone and recalling their experiences – and there was something so personal and sincere about that.

The women were able to choose their preferred filter, which in one case meant a fire breathing dragon. You can check out more here:


Screenshot via Facebook.