Snapchat Child Porn: Montreal Teens Arrested For Using Photo-Sharing App To Take And Distribute Pictures Of Underage Girls

 @AndrewBerry1
on November 14 2013 5:59 PM

Snapchat -- the photo messaging application now making headlines for rejecting a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -- has just landed in the news for another, far more nefarious, reason. According to ValleyWag, police in Laval, a suburb north of Montreal, busted 10 teenage boys on Thursday morning, all of whom are suspected of “producing and distributing child pornography.”

As CTV News reports, the boys, all underage themselves as they are 13 to 15 years old, are accused of using laptops, cell phones and iPads to take inappropriate pictures of underage girls in “sexual poses or performing sexual acts.” Police said they identified seven girls who had been talked into taking a photo and tricked into thinking the picture would be deleted immediately thereafter -- which is Snapchat's main selling point.

"Some of the girls thought that they were okay by sending these pictures by using an app called Snapchat because the picture will appear for only a few seconds... and then it disappears," said Nathalie Laurin of Laval police. "There is the possibility of taking a screencap and then distributing the picture. We saw that it was shared outside also, so we don't know to what extent those pictures are going around cyberspace." 

According to CTV News, a unit of 20 police officers got involved in the case after learning that multiple boys at a local high school had been looking at the photographs and been sharing them with students at two other schools.

The boys will appear in court to face charges of production, possession and distribution of child pornography, CTV said.

As ValleyWag points out, Snapchat -- a two-year-old startup -- has been hit with reports about hacks that enable users to save photos and videos after they were supposed to be deleted.

As reported by IBTimes Wednesday, Snapchat just rejected a $3 billion cash buyout offer from Facebook. “Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s 23-year-old co-founder and CEO, will not likely consider an acquisition or an investment at least until early next year,” WSJ said.

Spiegel is hoping that Snapchat’s growth in users and messages will secure an even larger valuation, WSJ reported.

As Forbes notes, mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat rapidly have been becoming the preferred method of communication for teenagers. David Ebersman, chief financial officer of Facebook, noted that usage numbers among teenagers for the social media giant had dipped from the second to third third quarter of 2013.

“We did see a decrease in daily users, partly among younger teens,” Ebersman said.

Share this article

More News from IBT MEDIA