Following the notorious celebrity nude photo hacking scandal, another massive online leak of 90,000 photos and 9,000 videos have been stolen off the mobile app Snapchat.
There are numerous reports currently flying around on Twitter on whether this is just a “hoax.” Regardless, this is a larger societal issue in social media that needs to be addressed. We need to be having the conversation about digital privacy more openly with our teens. Here’s why:
A recent study from Purdue University found that among 21 year olds, 80 percent had sent or received a sext and 46 percent had sent a nude selfie.
Childhood pornography territory: This is not a regular “celeb” photo hack scandal. We are talking about a massive leak of private photos shared between young adults and teenagers. Snapchat claims 50% of its users are between 13-17 years old. So, if you start sharing these photos, you are basically sharing child pornography.
Snappening Implications: There are long-term implications here for teens who may have been victimized. Any time you take a photo using these apps it could end up in the wrong hands. But how are these young adults going to respond when their nude photos are posted around the Internet? They are not celebrities with high-powered attorneys and managers behind them. They are teenagers in high school who stand to lose everything. I worry about the real implication this will have on their digital reputation for the long run including suicide risk from cyberbullying.
Digital Privacy doesn’t exist: Even if the snappening is a hoax, the notion of digital privacy is the real hoax. It doesn’t exist! What you think its private isn’t, and if you don’t want your reputation tarnished for the long run, re-think what you are sending. And, think about how your parents will react when they see these photos online!