DUELING COLUMN: Snapchat Is No Place For Sex Work

Damielys Duarte/Staff Writer

The age of social media has brought with it new underground ventures that are all too public. The rise of Premium snapchat accounts offering adult and often sexual services is revolutionizing the influencer market in a negative way and should be discontinued by Snapchat.

The creation of private accounts for sale began a few years ago and has since become a booming market where individuals with a large fan base can get their followers to pay to see intimate photos and videos of them. These accounts can be subscription-based or a “lifetime access,” where the former requires monthly payment to continue access or a one time fee allows you unlimited access to the account, according to Wired.

The main argument for those supporting the illicit trade is that the adults participating in the Snapchats are doing so because they need additional income to support themselves or even family members. 

And although we are all familiar with minimum wage jobs and the difficulty of surviving just past middle-class, that’s not a reason why an open platform such as Snapchat, which was created as a form of mass communication via quirky filters and videos, should allow that type of content on its platform.

Many times I’ve stumbled upon inappropriate stories and ads in the “for you” section, and it makes me wonder what protections Snapchat is implementing to protect minors from utilizing the app for its main purpose.

All pornographic sites are required to use age verification and public pornography is prohibited, according to the The Children’s Internet Protection Act. In this case, neither Snapchat nor the premium users are verifying this information or shielding minors. 

The worst part has to be that this type of behavior and content is strictly forbidden in Snapchat’s rules and regulations, and yet the accounts are blatantly advertised with no repercussions. This makes you wonder if the social media giant is turning a blind eye to the activity taking place on its app.

This is by no means a criticism of pornography but the place where the conduct is taking place. Such content should be restricted to adult-only sites where people interested in that type of media can find it, and not clueless minors who are just trying to keep up with technology.

Featured photo by Stock Catalog on Flickr.



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