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New Jersey Teens facing possible Child Pornography charges by using Snapchat screenshot workaround

Students in a New Jersey high school are facing possible child pornography charges for taking screenshots of nude photos sent by two girls via the popular photo sharing app Snapchat .


App Store Screenshot of the Snapchat app

On the surface, Snapchat is an extremely safe way to send and share photos with your friends that disappear after ten seconds. The app has gained immense popularity, particularly amongst the middle school and high school demographic, as a way to for teens to “sext” back and forth with relatively no negative consequences. If someone tries to take a screenshot of said photo, an alert is sent to the sender immediately. This has led a lot of users assuming it’s safe to send any kind of photo—especially a risqué one—through Snapchat, but apparently there is a workaround that the NJ students utilized that doesn’t alert the sender.

Because of this workaround, two girls from Ridgewood High School in NJ have found their photos sent to at least one classmate on Instagram, setting off a firestorm of controversy, and bringing about possible child pornography charges for the “screenshotter” in conjunction with New Jersey’s “Endangering the Welfare of Children” laws.

The workaround employed is relatively simple. All you have to do is keep your finger on the screen while taking a screenshot (holding down the power and home buttons simultaneously), and then as soon as the screenshot snaps, double tap the home button to bring up the multitasking tray. Bringing up the tray apparently interferes with how Snapchat detects a screenshot being taken. We don’t tell you about this workaround so that you might use it. Rather we tell you because we want you to be aware of how easy it is for someone to take a screenshot with an app that’s supposed to be near foolproof.

Let this be a lesson to anyone that your photos are rarely, if ever, safe when sent through Snaphchat, so use your brain.

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