Snapchat used to be an ephemeral messaging service that only kids really understood. A place to send a picture and forget about it, knowing it’ll disappear after it’s been viewed once. Now, it’s a fully-fledged messaging service that’s trying to convince the whole world, not just millenials, that it’s the place to get all your news too.
That’s the crux of the class action lawsuit filed by a “John Doe”, represented by Lynette Young, “on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated”.
The suit alleges that the Discover tab – the place where you can scroll through stories from publications – never warns users of what’s described as “explicit content”. It’s the very fact that it’s a curated list of content, rather than an uncontrollable stream of socially contributed updates, that has made the lack of a warning or age barrier even worse, according to the filing.
The complaint gives eight examples of content that it would consider explicit, saying that it’s just a representative sample from across three days.
The 8 cited article titles:
- 10 things he thinks about when he can’t make you orgasm
- I got high, blown and robbed when I was a pizza delivery guy
- F#ck buddies talk about how they kept it casual
- People share their secret rules for sex
- 14 sex problems only lesbians understand
- Everything you ever wanted to know about penis tattoos
- People tell us their weirdest stoner snacks
- 14 drunk convos every woman has had
It also says that the feature has been used to show images, “containing statement such as Beware of Whiskey Dick, or cartoon of a nude female riding a phallic space ship with the text ‘THANKS FOR WATCHING’.
Snapchat has always been home to adult content, but it’s generally assumed to be hidden away in direct messages. It’s always had a bit of a porn problem, but we hadn’t expected the problems to come from the paid media partners really.
We’ve contacted Snapchat for comment and will update if we hear back.