Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, explains how Snapchat and Snapcash are facilitating sexting and the sale of pornography.
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Snapchat, the popular photo and video sharing app, is used by 77% of college students regularly. We have been raising awareness about Snapchat and sexting for years, but we are now even more concerned because of its recently added feature: Snapcash.
Snapchat partnered with payment processor, Square, to provide a way for users to send payments between one another using “Snapcash.” We are seeing increasing numbers of individuals using this platform to monetize the distribution of pornography.
A search of other social media platforms reveal that thousands of people are using Snapcash to make money off of nude photos or videos. For example, a simple search on Instagram this week revealed over 7,755 posts using the hashtag #Snapcash that were either nude or provocative and that urged viewers to add them on Snapchat and give them Snapcash for even more explicit videos and pictures.
This same trend is consistent on other social media platforms as well. In fact, even some posters on social media have discussed their ability to use Snapchat and Snapcash to procure child pornography images from minors.
Snapchat is making money from Snapcash, and while they say that it is not for explicit content, it seems that that is exactly what it is most commonly used for.