Niall Mulrine

Technology: Stay away from The Snappening

Kay Stephens &  Vinitha Nair

Kay Stephens & Vinitha Nair

THERE is no privacy on the Internet, despite what teens may think. Last month, a trend started with iCloud leaked nude photos of celebrities called “The Fappening” (a combination of the M. Night Shyamalan film titled ‘The Happening’ with the word fapping – Internet slang for masturbation.).  

And just this week, the same 4Chan hackers are thought to be behind the release of nearly 200,000 images and videos from the photo messaging app Snapchat, a messaging service that claims that the photos sent on it “disappear” 10 seconds after the person receiving the picture opens it.


We have warned parents and educators about Snapchat for several years now. Snapchat provides a false sense of protection for teens that their photos will disappear, but almost immediately after the app’s release, teens found a workaround to save the disappearing photos through several hacks, including another app, called SnapSave, which can save all the pictures and videos sent from Snapchat to the phone’s camera roll.

Not long ago, according to the news source, it was this third-party app, SnapSave and its servers that were hacked and pornographic content was definitely among the leaked material, some of it underaged.

Not great news for teens who thought they had a foolproof workaround to engage in Sexting. Already, in Internet forums, some people are scrambling to try and find out who these usernames belong to and to view the nude photos.

However, depending on national law and age of consent, anyone who downloads underage nude content in The Snappening could be charged for violating child pornography laws.

So here are the essential talking points for your kids over this issue:

1. Do NOT Sext. Ever. Ever. Ever. It will come back to haunt you. Tell them to read Jennifer Lawrence’s thoughts on this violation, after having her Sexting photos hacked. Sexting photos will always be currency to the public. And this hacked and leaked photo trend is not going away.

2. Do not try to access any photos. If your teen suspects he or she might have Sexting photos hacked from the The Snappening, do not try to access any photos and download them. As crazy as it sounds, the laws prohibit downloading under aged nude photos…even if your teen was the one who took the photo!


3. Open up the communication channels. On that common sense note, if you have a discussion with your teen over this issue, be upfront and hard line about it. Tell him or her not to even go looking for underage nude photos out of curiosity. EVER. The FBI is currently investigating the fallout from The Snappening and can even detect computers that are accessing child porn in real time.

Even looking at or possessing these photos or videos on your computer or cell phone is a very serious crime that can carry a minimum of five years in prison in the case of a Federal Child Pornography case.

Guest column by Kay Stephens from

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