When Snapchat was hacked in October 2014 (The Snappening), many put the onus partly on
the Snapchat-authority also, as the very existence of Snapchat is based upon the ‘disappearing’
nature of its images. So when 200,000 private pictures were leaked , it also shook the belief
of users from the core, that even the ‘so-called’ tight security system of Snapchat picture
app felt so vulnerable in the hands of hackers. Also if the ‘ephemeral’ nature of the images of
Snapchat is its USP, then it was expected that the privacy of the pictures will also be guarded
but Snappening proved that what Snapchat claimed and what it delivered is starkly different.
Why Snapchat can’t shake off the blames of photo leaks completely?
Snappening came soon after Fappening- the notorious celeb nude photo- leak that put celebs
like Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, and Kate Upton in awkward positions. In Case of Fappening,
a web forum called 4Chan- breached the security code of iCloud and released the scandalous
celeb images. The same group is also assumed to be the mastermind behind Snappening, but as
no celebrity names have been involved so far with it; Snappening seems less glamorous than
Fappening- from the point of view of media attention.
In case of Snapchat photo leak, it has come to light that a third-party application called
Snapchatsaved.com’s server had been breached to release those images. Snapchatsaved.com
started its existence in the year of 2013, and though Snapchat had been repeatedly made aware
of the presence of these sites or apps where- any user can save their seemingly ‘disappeared’
images by downloading or taking screenshots; no effective move has been taken so far by the
messaging app. So when after ‘Snappening’, Snapchatsaved.com came forward and admitted
that it’s their server that had been violated by the hackers to leak those innumerable numbers
of photos; it had put a big question on the affirmative statement which Snapchat makes too
often that- it’s team keeps a vigilant eyes on the third-party apps by raiding android app store
and Google’s Play on a regular basis and they have successfully taken down many such apps.
But the reality is something different. If you go to app store in order to find any such third-
party apps for leaked Snapchat photos, you shall be amazed to find them in bulk, in the forms
of ‘Snapbox’, ‘Snap Upload’ etc.
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Is ‘sexting’ also made Snappening such a grave issue?
For many, the very product-offering of Snapchat defies logic as it involves disappearing images.
But the truth is that- when Snapchat came to light, it was solely a platform to share funny,
quirky, banal yet light moments of your life with friends. However, with the growing trend of
exchanging nude photos of teenagers (aged between 14-17 years) via Snapchat was the bone of
contention for many, who look for unadulterated fun through a photo-sharing app. So one may
wonder that, whether the serious crime of child pornography that has now been attached with
the leak of 200,000 nude teenager-images, had now made ‘The Snappening’ such a sensational
topics in social media