Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Kia Kokalitcheva
July 7, 2016

Snapchat is in hot water for flirting with… well, flirting. Or in the words of some parents: sexually explicit content.

The ephemeral messaging app has been sued for displaying sexually explicit ads and content through Discover, its media hub where publishers serve up news and videos, according to a court filing published by The Verge. The suit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles by an unnamed 14 year-old boy and his mother this week, accuses Snapchat of regularly showing inappropriate content to minors without properly warning parents, thus violating the Communications Decency Act.

“Millions of parents in the United States today are unaware that Snapchat is curating and publishing this profoundly sexual and offensive content to their children,” says the lawsuit, adding that such content then encourages its young users to send sexually explicit messages to each other.

Ironically, the company unveiled a new feature this week that lets users permanently save photos and videos they send each other. The feature’s demo video included a young man grabbing his girlfriend’s butt as an example of content users may want to save.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

Apple’s App Store rates Snapchat’s app as appropriate for users age 12 and up, though Snapchat’s terms of service restrict its use to those at least 13 years old, as The Verge points out.

While Snapchat has a fair amount of influence over the look and feel of content that its partner publishers create for the app’s Discover section, the company maintains that publishers ultimately retain editorial independence over what they publish.

Some of the offensive content cited in the lawsuit includes “10 Things He Thinks When He Can’t Make You Orgasm,” “I Got High, Blown, and Robbed When I Was A Pizza Delivery Guy,” and “People Share Their Secret Rules for Sex.”

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and that the company add an in-app warning about the app’s sexual content. The lawsuit also seeks class action status.

Fortune has contacted Snapchat and will update this story if we hear back.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

You May Like

EDIT POST