By Tim Rawlinson
According to Snapchat, love has no age. NO AGE?!?!— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) June 3, 2019
When does this become too much??? pic.twitter.com/Tbkhbkzgia
Snapchat is in hot water this week after the app was forced to remove a filter that it added for Pride Month that enabled users to include the phrase, ‘ Love has no age’.
American Conservative Twitter activist Ashley StClair posted the above video to her Twitter account showing how the filter works, users can select from a list of terms following the phrase ‘ Love has no’ with one of the options being ‘age’.
Ashley said in the video:
“I heard pedophiles were trying to get into the LGBTQ community, but did it really happen? What do you mean love has no age?”.
Snapchat ditched the filter quietly following the mass negative backlash, with many articles appearing online accusing the firm of normalising pedophilia and who could blame them?
In 2017 Fortune reported that:
Criminal cases involving adults using Snapchat to exploit minors for sexual gratification is on the rise, Bloomberg reported. And that’s problematic because the cornerstone of the tool is its disappearing messages. What makes Snapchat so attractive to teens is the same feature that makes finding evidence of sexual exploitation so difficult, according to investigators.
Sextortion, in which an individual threatens to expose sexual images of another person, has become particularly problematic on social networks and messaging platforms. The Brookings Institution examined 78 cases of sextortion, which involved at least 1,397 victims, and found that 71% targeted victims under the age of 18. Social media manipulation was used in 91% of the cases, the Brookings Institution said.
Bloomberg cited a study by Crimes against Children Research Center of the University of New Hampshire that found in its examination of an anonymous online survey that 54% of these sextortion victims were contacted by perpetrators through social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Another 41% were through messaging platforms such as Snapchat and Kik. Video voice call programs such as Facetime followed at 23% and dating platforms like OKCupid and Tinder represented 9% of cases in the survey.’