Snapchat Sued for Allegedly Exposing Minors to ‘Sexually Offensive’ Material

Snapchat
Snapchat Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Snapchat was hit with a class action lawsuit on Thursday, July 7, over its Snapchat Discover feature, which allegedly exposes minors to “sexually offensive” material.

In the suit, which was filed by attorney Mark Geragos on behalf of a 14-year-old boy and his mother in U.S. District Court this week in the Central District of California, the plaintiffs claim that Snapchat Discover — which features partner stories and videos — routinely suggests sexually explicit content without a proper warning.

“[This is] an insidious pattern and practice of intentionally exposing minors to harmful, offensive, prurient and sexually offensive content, without warning minors or their parents that they would be exposed to such explicit content,” read the court documents, which were published by The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Among the complaints is one involving a specific BuzzFeed feature that was promoted on Snapchat Discover earlier this month. The piece of content was titled, “23 Pictures That Are Too Real If You’ve Ever Had Sex With a Penis.”

In it, several popular Disney characters are associated with NSFW sexual acts and innuendo, which the lawsuit claims is objectionable and in violation of the Communications Decency Act.

Other controversial sex-focused stories that were featured on Snapchat Discover included headlines such as “10 Things He Thinks When He Can’t Make You Orgasm,” “People Share Their Secret Rules for Sex” and “I Got High, Blown, and Robbed When I Was a Pizza Delivery Guy,” according to the complaint.

A spokesperson for Snapchat told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement that they “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 spokesperson added. Media partners include BuzzFeed, Vice and MTV, among others.

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