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Dalhousie’s name stuck to racy Snapchat account

University wants name removed from anonymous social media account

3 min read

Dalhousie University hasn’t been able to remove its name from a social media account featuring photos of nudity and drugs.

The school’s director of communications, Brian Leadbetter, says Dalhousie contacted Snapchat to ask that its name be removed from dalhousie.snap, an anonymous account sharing explicit content.

Leadbetter says the social media company declined to take action.

Images of alcohol, marijuana and nude bodies cycle daily through the Snapchat story of dalhousie.snap. Some nude photos appear to be selfies, while others seem to have been taken by someone else.

The account allows users to send content without their name attached. Content is then visible on the account’s Snapchat story for 24 hours. Anyone who adds the account can see the photos or videos.

Dalhousie Jungle

Leadbetter says the school monitors a number of social media platforms and that these types of accounts have popped up before.

Last year, a number of students were evicted from the school’s residence after an Instagram account called Dalhousie Jungle shared sexually explicit photos, including an image of a topless female student performing oral sex.

That account has since been deactivated.

Users of the Snapchat account are told that if it’s shut down, there is a backup plan. The account says they can’t show everything on Snapchat but the “full story” can be viewed on the Mojo College Stories app.

When these accounts appear, the school contacts the service providers about the “potentially inappropriate content” and asks that the school’s name be removed, Leadbetter said in an email.

Leadbetter says the school has a set of social media guidelines, but students and faculty are personally responsible for what they share online.

Snapchat policy

Under Snapchat’s community guidelines, accounts that use public stories to distribute sexually explicit content are prohibited. The guidelines also state not to post or send any nude photos of anyone under 18 or to take snaps of people without their knowledge and consent.

Violating these rules may result in removal of content or termination of your account.

Snapchat could not be reached for comment.

Criminal offence

The Halifax Regional Police hasn’t received any complaints about the Snapchat account, says Const. Dianna Woodworth, a police spokesperson.

Sharing explicit photos of anyone under the age of 17 is classified as distributing child pornography and can result in 14 years in prison.

If content has been posted without the consent of an individual who is over the age of 18, complaints could be made under the Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act.

Woodworth says anyone wishing to file a complaint can call the police’s non-emergency number, and the case would then be investigated.

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About the author

Payge Woodard

Payge is a master of journalism student at the University of King's College. She's interned for Bangor Daily News in Maine and freelanced for...

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