According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, American kids and teens between the ages of 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours each day in front of screens for entertainment purposes alone. Consuming so much media on screens has affected the attention spans of the nation's youth, so it's perhaps unsurprising that Snapchat is such a popular platform. Unlike other social media outlets, Snaps disappear after a short period of time, often right after they're viewed. As a result, users are subconsciously encouraged to move on to the next bit of media that they are interested in consuming, one after the other.
Unfortunately, a false sense of security about the short shelf life of Snaps has led some teens and adults alike to knowingly or unknowingly use the Snapchat platform in ways that are unlawful. The sense is that if a bit of illicit content – like a nude selfie – is only going to exist for a single opportunity to review it, there is no harm in posting or viewing such content. This approach is getting people in trouble. If this situation is all too familiar to you, talk to us about your case today by calling 888-535-3686 or by contacting the Lento Law Firm online.
Pennsylvania Man Charged Due to His Snapchat Activities
This summer, a Pennsylvania man in his 30s was charged with corruption of minors and offenses related to child pornography due to his activities on Snapchat. Investigators discovered multiple nude photos of a minor in the man's account history. It was determined that the man knew the age of the minor in question and later engaged in sexual acts with her. It was also revealed that he used language in his communication with multiple minors that is considered coercive. For example, he referred to some as "baby" and told them that they were beautiful.
Lessons From the Pennsylvania Case
Regardless of which social media platform an adult uses, there is a risk that any kind of suggestive or explicit communication that they engage in could land them in hot water with the law. Even if a minor doesn't admit to their age, it's possible that suggestive language could be considered coercive if it's eventually revealed that one has been engaging in a back-and-forth with someone who is underage. Similarly, requesting, possessing, viewing, or trading any kind of explicit photos could lead to charges of criminal wrongdoing if one of the parties is revealed to be a minor as well.
It's, therefore, vitally important that adults on social media platforms take great care to avoid knowingly communicating with minors in a suggestive way, using any kind of language that could be perceived as coercive with minors, and soliciting suggestive photos from minors. To be safe, it's advisable to avoid all of these behaviors when communicating with anyone on social media who isn't a verifiable adult because even unknowingly engaging in these behaviors with a minor could lead to criminal charges.
Legal Assistance With Illicit Communication Charges Is Available
If you're under investigation or are facing charges related to your social media activities, know that the reputable Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm has the experience and the legal knowledge to safeguard your rights and interests as your case evolves.
The stakes of your situation are high, so there's no time to lose when it comes to crafting the strongest defense strategy possible. Tell us about your case today by calling 888-535-3686 or by contacting us online. We look forward to hearing from you.