Over 200,000 private mostly nude Snapchat images are being released onto the internet today. They’re pictures of naked people. Looking at the demographic of SnapChat’s user based it’s easy to imagine that most of the images are of teenagers which would constitute child pornography.
The infamous /b/ board on 4chan has christened the event “The Snapenning” in a throwback to the recent leak of private celebrity nude photos that happened as a result of an iCloud breach dubbed “The Fappening”.
Snapchat is a photo and video sharing application for iPhone and Android that allows users to send images to one another. What makes this application special is that the photos and videos are supposed to disappear forever after anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds.
You can imagine how these limited viewing capabilities may incentivize some people to take and share – shall we say – compromising photos of themselves.
Since the photos have a limited viewing time, there were a lot of third-party applications springing up that would allow you to capture that brief photo for future viewing or sharing.
These third-party apps were the source of the problem. At least that’s what Snapchat is saying:
That application you installed to save your Snapchats may have been sending them to someone else.
The most prominent among them is called Snapsave, and they’re denying any involvement, of course. We’ll see where the ax falls on this one as the story develops.
The Snapchats were made available last night as a huge, 13GB library of image and video files. 4chan is currently doing what it does best and working hard to make that library into an organized database that can be searched by username.
Much of the Snapchat user demographic are minors. This means that the leak and any subsequent downloads of the file(s) could be prosecuted as dissemination and/or possession of child pornography.
Don’t go looking for this stuff, folks.
The dominant, though unconfirmed, theory is that the photos were saved on a website called Snapsaved (distinct from Snapsave, mentioned above).
Snapsaved.com suddenly disappeared of the net a few months ago and now redirects to a digital hardware sales site in Denmark. Kind of sketchy. Their Facebook page is still up, but it hasn’t been touched since March.
Of course, even if the files did come from Snapsaved, it doesn’t mean it was a nefarious move on their part. Hackers could have broken into their servers, taken the pictures and videos, and leaked them onto 4chan without the company’s knowledge.