The Right to Private Snapchats?

Recently, Google employee James Damore was fired for quite rationally and politely expressing his analysis, on a company-sponsored forum, of perceived biological differences between men and women. It seems that his comments did not comport with the politically correct views of Google’s management, so he was punished.

Now a similar issue has arisen in an private school in MO, where a group of students are under investigation by school administration for alleged “racist, profane and sexual” comments made in a private conversation on Snapchat.

Another student who, according to news stories, was not a member of the private Snapchat group and therefore not supposed to be privy to the other students’ conversations, took screenshots of their comments, posted the images on Twitter, and then forwarded the images to school administrators with this “charge”:

Handle this.

The school says it will indeed discipline the students, based upon the belief that this alleged “hate speech,” once made public, damaged the “school community.” An administrator also said that parents should teach their children that “digital media is public and permanent.”

The NAACP weighed in, arguing for the expulsion of the offending students, who are only about 14 years old, being freshman. Zero tolerance. One misstep and offenders must be destroyed (depending, of course, upon who they are).

The thing about Snapchat is that it is not “public and permanent.” The conversation was a private chat. Private.

Snapchat, by design, is ephemeral and “self-deleting.”  By design, the application makes it difficult to take screenshots, if only because one must catch the image before it self-deletes. Also by design, the application notifies the originator if someone takes a screenshot of his or her posts. It’s difficult, not impossible, to screenshot a Snapchat without notification; but one must jump through hoops to do it.

This entire situation raises questions not only about the bounds of political correctness, censorship, free speech, and privacy rights, but also about when and how the legal system will catch up with new technologies.

Various laws protect private conversations when it comes to recording them, whether in person or over wired telephones. Some laws also speak about “electronic communications,” which would seem to include cell phones or other wireless devices, but seeming doesn’t always make it so.  Do Snapchats qualify for privacy protection? Hard for a non-lawyer to determine. If not, when, if ever, will specific laws be enacted to protect “online” conversations that are intended to be private?

Does imaging a Snapchat from someone else’s device violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act? Again, hard to determine.

At the very least, it seems like an invasion of privacy–akin to eavesdropping or wire-tapping–to capture a private chat that by design is supposed to be ephemeral and self-deleting, preserve the content, and publicize it, holding participants up to ridicule (at best), mainstream media publicity, public condemnation, and eventual punishment. These are children, after all.

Suppose someone planted a bug in another person’s home or car and recorded something politically incorrect that, if publicized, triggered distress and offense in a work or school community. Who, then, caused the distress, which would not have occurred but for publication of the private conversation?

Can words be considered “hate speech” if they’re spoken or written in private, with no intention whatsoever to target any individual?

Suppose students privately discuss and repeat racist and sexist lyrics from popular songs over Snapchat. If another student is offended, will the participants of that conversation be punished?

Suppose students simply listen to music that contains offensive sexist or racist epithets in the privacy of their own homes. Is this allowed or will it, too, be punished if publicized?

The problem with this trend is easy to see.

We’ve been told that students, no matter how young, have constitutional rights. It’s harder to punish students in public schools for their speech than in private schools, just as it’s easier for a private company to fire someone because of his or her speech than for a government agency to do so.

This post isn’t intended to condone the language used by the students in question, nor to dismiss the difficulty of the conundrum now faced by school administrators, once placed in this minefield of a situation.

The issues of concern for this post are the capture, publication, and dissemination of private speech, with punishment soon to be meted out to those who made the comments (or jokes) in private.

Where will this trend end?

What’s next? Thought crime?

If the trend continues, whatever you or your children say in private may some day cause you or your children to be treated like modern-day Hester Prynnes.

Are you ready to have your private speech policed by a contemporary version of Javert, perhaps to some day be forced to, if only figuratively, wear a Scarlet Letter so that you, too, can be publicly shamed and punished for ill-advised speech?




120 responses to “The Right to Private Snapchats?

  1. Mar-a-Lago could be underwater in just 83 years …??

    • ~ Can’t We Talk About This? …^^^^^^

      The true story of the Islamic Supremacist war on free speech as told by those on the front lines fighting for our First Amendment rights, including Mark Steyn, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders, Douglas Murray, Raheem Kassam, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Ezra Levant, Paul Weston, Milo Yiannopolous and cartoonists living under death threat Lars Vilks and Bosch Fawstin.

  2. MOVIE by Pamela Geller : CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT THIS? ………..^^^^^

    • How can the CDW employee NOT be under suspicion when apparently s/he cooperated by changing invoices to hide the transactions so the equipment wasn’t tracked? What a coverup!

    • Somebody in that photo, at the top of the first story seems, possibly, allegedly, obviously, to be getting kickbacks. Ya think?

  3. YEP YEP … LOCK IT UP !!! .. that is part of the reason she IS BLOWING

    I just joked with my BLACK friend …TWICE in the last MONTH! F’ U ALL!

    • Yeah, that was interesting, wasn’t it? I think he should follow the advice of his lawyers. Of course, the lawyers are denying the truth of this story. If I had my druthers, Javanka would be back at the companies and not sitting in the WH as unelected overlords.

    • The move to have these two kids at his side is the one thing that ever causes me to wonder about his stability and capability. It always struck me strange when he was on campaign trail how he would elevate his daughter as a shooter and more important that any of us saw her as. Heck, most of us did not even know her! Her placement in the WH is also the only time I see Trump’s betrayal to his voters — He said his children were going to run the business and most times “children” referenced all three.

      On the other hand……..I see by her appointment that he KNEW from day one that he could trust nobody and see the sense in having a watchful eye on him in meetings, etc.,

      • I don’t know many fathers who don’t have a blind spot when it comes to daughters. We KNOW she’s liberal and so is her husband. So now we have a president who’s literally surrounded by Democrats if not liberals. All the conservatives have been shoved out. Now we also have Schumer and Pelosi flattering him and getting a “deal.” Time will tell what it really means. I knew something was up when Feinstein came out with the remark that he may turn out to be a great president. Is THAT comforting, considering what SHE thinks of as great? Kelly is basically holding Trump in figurative house arrest. It reminds me of Granny Sarah, if you go by media reports (which, of course, aren’t actually reliable. The way THEY spin things will always be to help the DemoncRATS achieve their ends–usually power for them and less for conservatives.) There was a story last week that Trump was upset that his long-time bodyguard/security person left his employ because Kelly won’t let him just go in to see Trump whenever he wants. It aggravated the guy, so says the media, so much that he got another job and then Trump was allegedly furious about him leaving. Supposedly, Kelly ALSO makes Javanka get clearance to see Trump. Now if it’s true that Trump is “furious” about this situation, why is he allowing it? He’s the president. The buck stops with him. What HE says goes, not what Kelly says. Whom did we elect, Trump or Kelly? As soon as Kelly started this regime, suddenly we see Chuckie and San Fran Nanna and Feinstein and other DemoncRATS on the ascendance. Maybe, like some think, Trump’s playing THEM, but only time will tell. If he ends up dealing away AMNESTY for something, even if for the Wall, his so-called base will NOT be happy. It’s disinformation to believe that the people want these “Dreamers” to become citizens–iow, REWARDED for illegal actions of their parents. What about all the people who are sitting in line, waiting to come legally? What about all the people in the inner cities who ALSO DREAM about college and social benefits and the American Dream? We shall see what becomes of Trump’s America First motto. These people are NOT Americans and so they ought to go, if not totally away, then at least to the END OF THE LINE. And NONE of them should receive social benefits or scholarships or any other perks in the meantime. They should also NEVER get citizenship unless they return to the end of the line, figuratively or literally, and wait their turn and pay their dues and then BEGIN the years of LEGAL residency required of ALL LEGAL immigrants.

  5. Snapchat
    Social Media
    Facebook and etc.
    I know my posts expressing not a lot of sympathy for victims of the internet
    have not been popular.
    Viewed from the point of view that you should be able to do this stuff,
    you guys (gals too) are right,
    when you know apriori what the results will be, and you choose to go ahead anyways, then I say what did you expect??
    We know that facebook and google are tied into the NSA, actively
    and by their own choice.
    We know that google actively tried to use their micro profiling ability to get
    votes to swing to Hillary.
    Anything that you put on any social media, please assume it will be used against you.
    I had to use Linkedin once, for a couple of days, to find a lawyer that I needed to contact and that I could not find any other way.
    In that three days I was totally besieged with all sorts of fake people wanting to make my acquaitance.
    I got out as soon as I could and I don’t use any social media.

    • Of course, that’s excellent advice. I don’t use it anymore than you, when NECESSARY, and especially I try to avoid the big G. I guess we have to assume that the NSA spies on ANYTHING we do electronically. I wonder if it will EVER be possible to put that particular genie back in the bottle. They for sure need to change some privacy laws and make them conform to the same rules as landline communications. It’s ridiculous that those laws don’t carry over to wireless and cell and Internet communications. Of course, if they did, then the NSA would have to get warrants, which they pretend they have to do now.

      The danger is and always was that we’d have a corrupt person running the WH who has no scruples about bending or breaking the rules and who will politicize the entire government against opponents. We had it for the past 8 years. I don’t see Sessions or the Congress trying to FIX it, though.

      About the topic of the post: These were CHILDREN. 13 or 14 years old. They’re stupid, naive kids chatting on an app that is DESIGNED to be ephemeral–just like an in-person conversation with a friend. It’s as if people have left their “manners,” for lack of a better word, in the closet. So much that is unseemly and unethical here. First, that a so-called friend would do what the so-called friend did. It’s akin to surreptitiously tape recording someone and then broadcasting it on the Internet. There are laws against that, fortunately. But the SPIRIT of those laws should pass over to something like this. If the guy had been 1 year older, it would be interesting to learn what sort of laws might play into this, because then the “snitch” (what the girls called him) would be an adult and the girls would be minors.

      Who is/was harassing whom? Who are the victims in this? The school is virtue signaling. Of course, it’s their right to kick out 5 paying CUSTOMERS, even if they’re losing about $130,000 in tuition in the process. I would think they ought to have also punished the “snitch” for being, after all, a “snitch.” He’s the person who broadcast the unseemly conversation all over the world. So who did the harm and caused the offense? That would be an interesting thing to see debated in a court room.

      A pro-expulsion editorial in the St. Louis paper today ended with this sentence: “Spewing hate speech is unacceptable in any venue.”

      Besides the obvious problem: Who gets to decide what constitutes “hate speech” and how will anyone ensure that the decisions are made objectively, without bias? It will also be interesting to see how readers of that editorial and the schools and other institutions react to that new alt-left “mandate.”

      Wouldn’t this mean that rap music is AS UNACCEPTABLE as privately chatting using the N-word in what sounds to me like a teasing, if inappropriate, way?

      Note that one of the girls was expelled soley because of an obvious joke she made alluding to joining the KKK.

      What will happen to any young man who plays SEXIST rap music on or off the school campus that may or may not be overheard by girls who are offended? Will these students similarly be expelled simply for listening to or causing others to hear hate speech within music they choose to play?

    The following story is factual. The intentions, of certain DOJ officials are honorable. The sources confirming what is about to be presented are reliable. Some of the sources are public, some of the sources are confidential. There are three other media people involved other than myself in the following revelations. One Congressman, possibly two have/will be revealing damning information on the following topic.
    Allegation: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Will Be Indicted for Revealing State Secrets to Foreign Intelligence Agents (Awans’)

    The headline is factual and it is correct; Debbie Wasserman Schultz will be indicted for the previously mentioned crime through leaks obtained by the Awans’ coming from Wasserman Schultz’s laptop. In reality, she should be indicted for treason against the People of the United States.

    In an interview with Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), revealed on Lou Dobbs, strongly suggested that there will soon be news about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and the prospect of a “state’s evidence deal” made by federal prosecutors and extended to Hina Alvi, a Pakistan national who is wanted in questioning in federal bank fraud charges against husband Imran Awan, is in process.

    Franks went on to say that, “I think you’re going to see some revelations that are pretty profound. And the fact that this wife is coming back from Pakistan and is willing to face charges, as it were, I think there’s a good chance that she’s going to receive some sort of immunity to tell a larger story that is going to be pretty disturbing to the American people.” Franks would not be more specific in his allegations.

    For months, both myself and my Independent Media colleagues have reported that Wasserman Schultz and the now-indicted Awan, who was arrested at a Washington airport, trying flee justice before flying to Pakistan, now stands indicted.

    I previously reported that the two co-conspirators concealed evidence linked to the hack of the Democratic National Committee computer system in 2016. Both Darin Damme, talk show host on KTAR Radio (92.3 FM), myself and as well as Doug Hagmann revealed that the DNC NEVER allowed the FBI to examine the laptop evidence. However, that did not stop former FBI Director, James Comey, from starting the ball rolling in claiming that the DNC tapes proved Russian collusion between Trump and the Russians in order to interfere in the election. Comey lied and he should be indicted for obstruction of justice.
    more, sooner, please

  7. Every Child should watch this! ❤

  8. Dims!!

    • Imagine that. States suing the president to enforce laws. Some of these same states, though, are “sanctuary” places, aren’t they? What’s funny is that as car makers make cars more fuel efficient, states want to charge people with fuel efficient cars more taxes for having cars that use less fuel and so they don’t pay their “fair share” of fuel taxes to maintain roads and bridges. Too funny.

  9. @ Dennis Prager ….. …. & ….This Is Hell by… by the creepy DRIP!
    Charles Blow … the NY Times resident Leftist hysteric. He complains
    he’s living in hell because Donald Trump is President. If he’s living in hell
    in NYC, making a great living writing in his pajamas & sipping coffee, …. where is someone in N Korea living?…

  10. Lady Gaga postpones European tour due to health problems??MENTAL

    “Lady Gaga is suffering from severe physical pain that has impacted her ability to perform,” ……wrote the singer’s label.

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