A 16-year-old girl and her mother filed a class-action complaint against Snap, Apple, and Google in a California federal court this week, claiming the platforms fail to protect underage users from “egregious injury” and the transmission of Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM).
Lawyers representing the girl, identified as L.W., contend in the lawsuit that Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, adopts a reactive strategy to protecting minors from abuse, requiring youngsters to report their own abuse after it has occurred.
“The claims alleged in this case are not against the adult perpetrator – they are against three major technology companies who enable him and others to commit these crimes,” the lawyers wrote inside the suit, that Insider regarded.
Her attorneys contended that Snap, Apple, and Google’s “tools and policies” are intended to boost their riches rather than protect kids who use their goods and apps.
In L.W.’s case, an older guy named B.P. began asking for nude images from her when she was 12 years old. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in California on Monday, he saved her Snapchat photographs and videos and shared them with others.
According to the lawsuit, B.P, an active-duty Marine, admitted to using Snapchat since he knew his messages would be deleted. Following a criminal investigation, he was convicted in a military court last year on accusations of child pornography and sexual abuse, according to The Washington Post, which broke the story first.
According to the lawsuit, Snapchat provides a “safe haven” for child sexual abuse since the app’s automatically disappearing communications feature allows for “exploitation and predatory behavior.”
A Snapchat spokeswoman told Insider that the company could not comment on ongoing litigation but described the scenario as “tragic.”
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our community. We employ the latest technologies and develop our own tools to help us find and remove content that exploits or abuses minors,” the Snapchat spokesperson said, contributing that this really reports all identified CSAM to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The abuse and grooming at the heart of the complaint occurred over a two-year period, while the victim was between the ages of 12 and 16. According to the lawsuit, the man also targeted “many other children” victims.
B.P. first reached out to L.W. over Instagram in September 2018, when she was 12 years old. The two subsequently communicated via Snapchat, where the male requested that the girl send him naked photos.
According to the lawsuit, when she declined, he emailed the victim a naked photograph of himself. He “manipulated and pressured” L.W. into continuing to provide naked photos until April 15, 2021.
According to her lawyers, if she refused to give a photo, the man would “ridicule and berate” her. According to the lawsuit, he also tried to get her to meet him at a hotel or an Airbnb, but she declined. According to the lawsuit, L.W. informed her mother about the grooming and abuse in May of last year.