Snapchat is being sued by a 14-year-old teen and his mother, claiming the messaging app exposes children to sexually explicit content without warning them or their parents.
According to CNET, Los Angeles lawfirm Geragos & Geragos filed suit against the company on Thursday (July 7), accusing Snapchat of violating the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law intended to regulate pornographic material on the Internet.
Specifically, Snapchat’s Discover feature is singled out, a service where the app shares original content.
The complaint alleges that the unnamed boy was exposed to Disney characters in sexually explicit conditions, as part of a photo collage titled “23 Pictures That Are Too Real If You’ve Ever Had Sex With A Penis”… which was served on the Discover channels from BuzzFeed.
“Millions of parents in the United States today are unaware that Snapchat is curating and publishing this profoundly sexual and offensive content to their children,” the lawsuit says. “By engaging in such conduct directed at minors, and making it simple and easy for users to ‘snap’ each other content from Snapchat Discover, Snapchat is reinforcing the use of its service to facilitate problematic communications, such as ‘sexting,’ between minors. Snapchat has placed profit from monetizing Snapchat Discover over the safety of children.”
In the Apple App Store, Snapchat is rated as appropriate for users 12 and older, although its terms of service specify users should be at least 13 years old.