There are plenty of articles online warning parents of the possible dangers that come with allowing their kids to use Snapchat, an app where users can post short video clips that disappear after 24 hours. Among the list of risks are things like getting kidnapped or sexually assaulted due to them posting their whereabouts, or having their private photos publicly exposed.
It’s rare that you hear of kids using Snapchat to broadcast themselves committing heinous crimes, however. A disturbing trend is taking shape, though, according to the Sun. Over the past two years, more and more disturbed kids from the UK — particularly, those in Devon, Essex, and Wales — have been using Snapchat to broadcast themselves abusing animals.
Because of this, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been receiving at least three claims a week of “brutal” animal cruelty, says one of its researchers. Per the report, the RSPCA received a total of 27 reports of animal abuse videos on the app in 2015. That number has jumped to 119 as of September 2017.
The cases range from slightly disturbing to downright cruel. Among other things, a guinea pig was thrown down a staircase, a horse was fed cigarettes, and a goat was repeatedly pulled into an electrical fence, all of which was broadcast using the app. The researcher added that videos of the kids laughing and making fun of the injured animals accompanied the abuse.
It should be noted that willful animal abuse of this nature is illegal, so these kids run the risk of facing legal implications, which is what Snapchat wants. A spokesperson for the company has encouraged anyone who comes across the disturbing videos to report them.
“This sort of cruelty is illegal. We encourage anyone who sees something like this anywhere to report it.”
There hasn’t been any mention on whether or not Snapchat plans to ban users who violate their terms of services, but losing access may be the least of these kids’ concern. As of September 2017, animal abuse conviction sentences in the UK have been extended from six months to up to five years. If charged, these kids sure have made things easy on the prosecutors, since they’re literally providing them with visual evidence.
What do you think about kids using Snapchat to broadcast their animal abuse? Do you think that these kids should be punished? Do you think that they should be banned from Snapchat? What do you think prompted them to not only abuse animals but to expose the abuse for all of the world to see? You can sound off in the comment section below.
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