Sexting becomes concern among snapchat users


by Steffi Lee

Forget Facebook. Forget Twitter. Forget Instagram. Snapchat is the latest application for smartphone owners.

Released in September 2011 by college student Raj Vir, Snapchat is a mobile application for both Android and iOS users. Users can share images or videos like most social media platforms, but Snapchat has one catch. Everything you “snap” disappears forever within a couple of seconds.

At first glance, everything about Snapchat seems harmless. Friends and family members mainly use the application to send self-portraits or pictures of their surroundings. The appeal is that the app is meant to be fun, communicative and friendly. Sometimes hilarious and embarrassing photos or videos can be shared with no worry, because they are seen for a temporary amount of time.

Even with this being said, there has always been a golden rule when using technology; users should always exercise caution. Just like previous controversy surrounding email, texting and instant messaging, Snapchat has been under negative light for providing teenagers with another sexting outlet.

Monica Vila is the co-founder of, a Web site dedicated to technology and internet advice for parents. In an article to, Vila points out the risks that Snapchat poses for its users. Yes, Snapchat may seem like it is all fun and games, but it can lead to the sharing of very explicit material. That’s what users need to look out for. Vila explains how it is imperative for parents to monitor their children’s behaviour and ensure they understand the risks of such popular applications.

An ABC News investigation revealed that some teenagers have sent and received risky photos. This has stirred concern among users, about if Snapchat is as safe as it seems to be.

Although Snapchat’s quick deleting feature seems innocent and safe, people have discovered ways around the impossible. Taking a screenshot of a photo is an option, but the sender is notified. Even if taking a screenshot notifies the sender, it sometimes might be too late.

According to, hackers have been found to put phones on Airplane Mode, or purposely cancelling Snapchat’s detection to view pictures multiple times. An article on, stated how jailbroken iPhones won’t necessarily notify the sender about screenshots.

To add on even more concerns, there was once a Tumblr blog titled Snapchat Sluts. Snapchat Sluts was devoted to exposing women who purposely sent their photos to a man to be featured on the site. The website has since been taken down, but the idea of how technology has opened up a world of sexting still exists.