The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is denouncing Teen Vogue for encouraging its young followers on Snapchat to engage in “sexting” as a means of coping with social distancing and quarantining related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a blog post published on Wednesday, NCSE urged Teen Vogue to stop encouraging teens “to create child sexual abuse material (child pornography) by sexting during quarantine.”
The organization also called on Snapchat to stop promoting Teen Vogue’s messages through the app’s Discover feature, which offers news and video content to its users. According to eMarketer, a staggering 92 percent of U.S. teenagers aged 12 to 17 reportedly use the app.
“Snapchat and Teen Vogue are playing right into sexual predators’ hands,” said NCSE executive director and senior vice president Dawn Hawkins in a statement, according to The Daily Caller.
“With the likely surge of young viewers on Snapchat due to quarantine,” Hawkins added, “it is socially irresponsible for Snapchat Discover to encourage minors to self-produce underage pornography (i.e. child sexual abuse materials), thereby increasing their vulnerability to sexual predators.”
The photos were accompanied by the article: “Dating and Coronavirus: Can You Still Kiss, Have Sex, and Go on Dates During Social Distancing,” NSCE told The Daily Caller.
“The news about the global spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, has changed seemingly every few hours,” writes “Down To Find Out” columnist Nona Willis Aronowitz, who has previously written for Teen Vogue about sexting, procuring a secret abortion, and more.
“Acceptable behavior during a global pandemic is a moving target, and it can be hard to pin down what, exactly, puts you and your community at risk,” Aronowitz wrote. “Sex and love can be extra-confusing, because of course in times of stress and uncertainty, all you want to do is seek out intimacy. And yet, in the midst of a pandemic, physical closeness is one of the easiest ways to spread a virus.”
“Online predators use social media platforms to pose as peers and groom children to send them sexually explicit material (i.e. ‘sext’ with them) that they can then distribute and/or use to blackmail the child into other forms of sexual exploitation,” NCSE declared.
“Like anything worth doing, sexting takes practice,” reads a Monday Teen Vogue story found on the Snapchat Discover page. “Here are 7 things you might not have known about sexting.”
“Sexting should make you feel good,” another Teen Vogue Discover story says.
“Sending someone details about what you want to do to them and getting back even more detail about what they want to do to you should be fun, easy, and ultimately joyful,” reads still another. “Anything less than that isn’t worth your time.”
“If you’re in the early stages of your romance, you cant still forge an emotional bond with your new boo by texting and Facetime,” a story posted on Saturday tells its teen viewers. “There are all kinds of creative, fun ways to sext, if you’re at that level.”
However, Hawkins warned, frequent sexting among minors is often used to “further bullying and sextortion among peers.”
“Images are also used as revenge pornography when the relationship sours,” she stated. “Pimps/traffickers often use the images to coerce teens into commercial sex trade; and self-produced youth pornography is often shared with third parties, and sometimes finds its way into the collections of predators and their child sexual abuse material.”
Teen Vogue and Snapchat “must be held socially accountable for promoting trends that put people at risk for exploitation,” Hawkins proclaimed.
“Research shows that sexting is often linked to offline sexual coercion, leaving teens inherently vulnerable,” Hawkins said. “Additionally, sexting can lead teens to be sexually extorted, sexually abused, or trafficked. Sexting is not harmless fun, as Teen Vogue would like teenagers to think, and Teen Vogue and Snapchat would be wise to stop promoting sexting to young, impressionable teens.”
Folks, Teen Vogue has been at this for years now. Snapchat and other social media apps are just new weapons in their cache to destroy the innocence of children. As we continue to demand they stop subjecting children to such heinous sexualization, it’s also on us, the parents, to keep these apps off our children’s devices and to have the hard talks with them about sexual sin.
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