March 25, 2020

STATEMENT – Teen Vogue Must Stop Encouraging Quarantined Teens to Self-Produce Child Exploitation Materials By Sexting

National Center on Sexual Exploitation Also Calls Out Teen Vogue, Snapchat for Facilitating Sexting Promotion

Washington, DC (March 25, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation called on Teen Vogue to stop encouraging its teen audience to create child sexual abuse material (child pornography) by sexting during quarantine, and also urged Snapchat to cease promoting these messages by Teen Vogue via Discover.

Teen Vogue is playing right into sexual predators’ hands by promoting sexting to teens on Snapchat. With the likely surge of young viewers on Snapchat due to quarantine, it is socially irresponsible for stories on Snapchat Discover to encourage minors to self-produce underage pornography (i.e. child sexual abuse materials), thereby increasing their vulnerability to sexual predators,” said Dawn Hawkins, senior vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“As the proliferation of online child sexual abuse material has increased exponentially in recent years and more children are being targeted and groomed by predators via social media apps, Teen Vogue and Snapchat must be held socially accountable for promoting trends that put people at risk for exploitation.

Research shows that sexting is often linked to offline sexual coercion, leaving teens inherently vulnerable. Additionally, sexting can lead teens to be sexually extorted, sexually abused, or trafficked. Sexting is not harmless fun, as Teen Vogue would like teenagers to think, and Teen Vogue and Snapchat would be wise to stop promoting sexting to young, impressionable teens.”

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