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Parents File Class-Action Suit Against Snapchat Over Explicit Content

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

A class-action complaint was filed on July 7, 2016 against the popular photo-sharing app, Snapchat. The source of the complaint stems from the app’s feature, Snapchat Discover, which often promotes suggestive and offensive content without warning. Snapchat originally rose to popularity due to its unique disappearing messages, which set it apart from other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook or even SMS. However, Snapchat diverted slightly from its original user-driven content platform with the introduction of Snapchat Discover in January 2015.

Snapchat Discover is an integrated feature within the app that promotes content from Snapchat’s media partners like The DailyMail, Buzzfeed, Vice, Cosmopolitan, and many others. This content ranges from simple pictures with a couple words on them to full top ten lists. Plaintiffs in this case allege that the app has no filters in place to keep minors from being shown explicit or graphic content.

This kind of explicit content is extremely alarming for parents especially because most minors have access to smartphones. There are 34.5 million minors between the ages of 13 – 17 using Snapchat, which constitutes 23% of all Snapchat users. With the lack of any filter on content and no way for parents to block these explicit articles and pictures from their children’s screens, minors using Snapchat have the potential to be exposed to explicit content.

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