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Snapchat hit with class-action suit for sexually explicit content

Snapchat

Snapchat Discover exposes minors to “harmful, offensive, prurient and sexually offensive content”, a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in California, accusing the popular messaging app.

Snapchat showing sexually explicit content to minors without providing the proper warning. The company offers “profoundly sexual and offensive” material to children.

Snapchat Discover launched in Jan 2015 “to explore Stories from different editorial teams. It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first. This is not social media.” the company said.  Sources like CNN, Yahoo, Vice, ESPN and even Snapchat’s own fledgling editorial team.

The suit was initiated by a mother and her 14-year-old son who came across several X-rated posts on the app’s Discover section. The court documents named articles such “10 Things He Thinks When He Can’t Make You Orgasm” ; “I Got High, Blown, and Robbed When I Was A Pizza Delivery Guy”.

One article by BuzzFeed entitled “23 Pictures That Are Too Real If You’ve Ever Had Sex With A Penis” used “an image of two dolls having sex with a puppy in the background” with explicit captions,  the lawsuit reads.

The complaint also says “While adults should be free to consume any of this material, and may themselves find it to be humorous and witty, the fact that Snapchat does not differentiate content offered to its minor users and adult users is problematic, and ultimately a violation of Federal and State consumer law.”

The company spokesperson said in a statement: “We haven’t been served with a complaint in this lawsuit, but we are sorry if people were offended. Our Discover partners have editorial independence, which is something that we support.”

The Verge citing sources say the company oversees the look and feel of stories that the section pushes to users.

Engadget mantions that although Snapchat is rated 12+ on iTunes , its terms of use do mention that it might offer additional services “with additional terms that may require you to be even older to use.” From the sound of things, though, that’s exactly what the lawsuit aims to accomplish: getting Snapchat to implement those “additional terms.” The complainants aren’t asking the service to stop publishing similar articles on Discover in the future — they’re only asking for the power to use parental controls if the user is still a minor and for the company to add in-app warnings for sexually explicit posts.

You can read the whole lawsuit below, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Via: The Verge and Engadget

Source: The Wrap

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