Social Media is becoming the platform used by predators to befriend minors. Thousands of cases reported worldwide included SnapChat.
The photo-messaging app is loved by teenagers for its selfies, video filters and auto-deleting messages, but it has become a “haven” for predators using the platform to prey on the young.
On October 1, 2019, the mother of a 13-year-old reported that a 28-year-old black male of Stuttgart had sent her daughter a video of him pleasing himself.
According to the incident report, the male had been frequently communicating with the minor through SnapChat for weeks.
The mother stated she walked in on her daughter facetiming the male suspect who was wearing little clothing. She grabbed the phone and identified who he was.
Once the male subject realized the mother had the phone and not the daughter, he tried to move the phone away to hide his face.
Other Snapchat messages sent to the minor from the male suspect were retrieved asking the minor to send nude photos and videos of herself.
According to the incident report, the case is under investigation.
In July Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke on the Senate floor about the letter she wrote to Snapchat urging CEO of Snap, Evan Spiegel, to take action to protect children from sexual predators and being exposed to explicit content while using the platform.
Snapchat’s Community Guidelines clearly state the following:
Sexually Explicit Content
- We prohibit accounts that promote or distribute pornographic content.
- Breastfeeding and other depictions of nudity in non-sexual contexts are not considered pornographic and are permitted on Snapchat.
- Never post, save, or send nude or sexual content involving anyone under the age of 18 — even of yourself. Never ask a minor to send explicit imagery or chats. We report child sexual exploitation to authorities.
According to Snapchat, if you violate any of the Community Guidelines, they may remove the offending content, terminate your account, and/or notify law enforcement.