Snapchat Under Scrutiny
Snapchat, the photo sharing social media app, has recently been sued for negligence in exposing minors to sexually offensive content. The feature at blame is the Discover feature, which shows users content from third-party “media partners” such as Buzzfeed and MTV. This content is reportedly monitored and hand-chosen by Snapchat. The issue is that Snapchat offers no way to filter this content from being displayed for minors as well as adults. Much of the content available on Discover is extremely suggestive and inappropriate for minors, including pictures with captions referencing sex, male genitalia, and even Disney characters paused in moments intended to imply sexual messages. Prosecutors claim that Snapchat has violated the Communications Decency Act of the 90s which, although much of it has been struck down by the courts for First Amendment reasons, still has parts that are operative. Prosecutors are seeking an injunction requiring Snapchat to warn users of adult content, an order allowing parents to filter such content, compensatory damages, and more.