Popular messaging app Snapchat has been hit with a class action lawsuit. The app is being sued for exposing minors to sexually offensive content from their media partners.
The lawsuit was in California federal court on Thursday by Mark Geragos. Geragos is representing a John Doe and 150 million other users in a complaint alleging violations of the Communications Decency Act.
Offensive Content On Snapchat
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legal action specifically, takes issue with the app’s Discover channel. In it, users come across content from media partners such as Vice, Buzzfeed, and MTV.
According to the complaint, the app helps curate the content and exercise. It also has direct control over its editorial content and those published to the consumer. Additionally, the lawsuit states that Snapchat’s terms of service lack warnings regarding the offensive content.
When underage users swipe through the channel, they come across inappropriate content. Content such as “10 Things He Thinks When He Can’t Make You Orgasm,” which are supposed to be targeted at adults can be accessed easily.
The underage complainant even came across an article titled “23 Pictures That Are Too Real If You’ve Ever Had Sex With a Penis.” It allegedly contained sexualized depictions of the minor’s favorite Disney characters.
Minors are also exposed to random graphics depicting phallic shaped objects as well as images with inappropriate captions.
The lawsuit states that adults are free to consume any of the material. However, the fact that the app does not differentiate the content between adults and minors is problematic.
According to Us Magazine, a spokesperson from the app stated that they have yet to be served with a complaint in this lawsuit. They are also sorry if people were offended.
The spokesperson added that their media partners have editorial independence, which they support. Whether Snapchat plans to continuosly work with their media partners is unclear at the moment.