Quickly being referred to as “The Snappening,” as many as 200,000 nude Snapchat pics and videos could be leaked onto 4chan on October 12th. Sound familiar? This was the same forum where Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrity nudes were posted weeks earlier.
Snapchatters were victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our ToU.— Snapchat (@Snapchat) October 10, 2014
But many of their users are minor—or people whose age is unknown—and its very possible their nudes could be spread online. They would hardly be to blame for downloading a third-party app, easily accesible on the Apple app store.
When I searched for “Snapchat” in the app store, third party apps like SaveSnap came up. SaveSnap hasn’t been taken down yet (unlike the now defunct web client SnapSaved that was compromised by hackers). When I downloaded SaveSnap, the login section said “Download Snapchat,” which is clearly intended to mislead. And when I went to save a friend’s video, this popup showed up:
These are the apps that Snapchat says it has gotten rid of in past, but they obviously didn’t get to all of them quickly enough.
Playboy reached out to Snapchat regarding the leak via email, who mostly repeated what they said over Twitter:
[W]e have no way of knowing whether a third party was breached or not. What we do know is that our servers have not been breached and no Snaps have been leaked from our servers. We have been successful in removing dozens of 3rd party apps called from Google Play and the iTunes App Store and we continue to aggressively pursue the removal of the remaining apps and new ones that crop up. Our statement below is based on media reports only.
So, should we expect to see SavedSnap—created specifically to permanently save Snapchat photos and videos—taken down this weekend?
This isn’t Snapchat’s first brush with leaked nude photos. Back in 2012, infamous party photographer Kirill Bichutsky started a Tumblr page called Snapchat Sluts, which quickly gained a lot of attention and featured screen shotted snaps of naked girls that were voluntarily sent to Bichutsky. Snapchat took action and sent him a cease-and-desist letter, and the website is now removed.
So even though Snapchat is trying to back quietly away from The Snappening, if these photos get leaked on 4Chan as predicted, this problem won’t disappear as quickly as your average Snapchat nude.