An unnamed 14-year old boy recently filed a suit against Snapchat in California claiming that the widely popular app gives minors access to sexually offensive content. The suit was filed after the Plaintiff came across a post by Buzzfeed in the apps Discover section, where several Disney Characters were portrayed with “pornographic text and innuendo next to the photographs.”
In the suit, the Plaintiff argues that Snapchat’s failure to warn minors or their parents before allowing them to view such content is in violation of the US Communications and Decency act. The suit therefore seeks that Snapchat be mandated to provide an in-app warning about sexual content on the app in addition to other civil penalties.
So far, Snapchat hasn’t formally acknowledged the receipt of any such law suit but a company Spokesperson issued a statement saying that its media partners have ‘editorial independence’ and as a result Snapchat doesn’t control what users see under its Discover section.
While I find it hard to believe Snapchat does nothing to influence what shows up or how stuff shows up in Discover, I can’t keep thinking just how many parents are completely oblivious of the issues raised in this suit and how their own teens may have already been negatively affected by the inappropriate sexual content easily accessible on the app.
Eagerly waiting to see how this case goes in court.
Do you think the mum did the right thing by going ahead to sue Snapchat? Or should she just have kept quiet and taught her son to stay away from that section of the app?