This isn’t a pretty picture for Snapchat.
The popular messaging app was slapped with a class-action lawsuit on Thursday that claims its feature Snapchat Discover exposes minors to “harmful, offensive, prurient and sexually offensive content.”
The suit, filed in federal court in California — claims that Snapchat Discover, for which Snapchat teams with media partners such as Buzzfeed, Vice and Cosmopolitan for content, offers “profoundly sexual and offensive” material to children.
The complaint goes on to state that Snapchat’s terms of service includes no warnings about the “offensive” content and that the Communications Decency Act requires providers such as Snapchat to notify users about parental controls that can help limit access to material that’s harmful to minors.
Among the allegedly offensive content: an article titled “10 Things He Thinks When He Can’t Make You Orgasm,” accompanied by “an image of two dolls having sex with a puppy in the background.” And another story titled “I Got High, Blown and Robbed When I Was a Pizza Delivery Guy,” illustrated by an image of “a teenage pizza delivery boy with a thumbs up.”
The suit was initiated by a woman and her 14-year-old son — who, the suit notes,”gets good grades” but was nonetheless blindsided in July when he came across a compilation of Disney images that “included pornographic text and innuendo next to the photographs.”
The text, the lawsuit claims, included, “When he came way harder than you expected” and “When he unexpectedly slaps your face with his penis.”
“Innocent movies from John [Doe]’s favorite Disney movies were perverted into obscene sexual images and text,” the lawsuit reads.
The boy was “equally perplexed and disturbed” when he swiped to a feature story titled, “What It Is Really Like to Let People Finger You in Public,” the lawsuit states.
“We haven’t been served with a complaint in this lawsuit, but we are sorry if people were offended,” a Snapchat spokesperson told TheWrap. “Our Discover partners have editorial independence, which is something that we support.”
Alleging negligence per se, unjust enrichment and violations of California and U.S. law, the suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.