Australia. Portugal. Hong Kong. Israel. Brazil. Germany. Singapore. The United States. Those are just a few of the places where one "private" Snapchat photo has gone viral after an English teacher wanted to show her students the truth about online privacy.
The lesson was simple: Nothing is private on the Internet.
Sammy Roo teaches years 5 and 6 in Heaton, England. As BuzzFeed reports, she got her students to take a Snapchat picture of her holding a sign that reads: "This is a 'PRIVATE' Snapchat pic. Please share, like and comment where you are. Help me show my primary class how private this really is!"
"Please note that this is a screenshot of a private Snapchat I took and then shared it publicly on Facebook," Roo wrote in the image's caption. "This highlights how easily someone can take your pictures and spread them if it gets into the wrong hands."
Snapchat, which allows people to exchange photo messages that self-destruct seconds after they're viewed, is one of the hottest new social media applications, according to Business Insider. The news website reports the service has attracted an estimated 82 million users, most of whom are between ages 13 and 25. The app was launched in July 2011 under the name Picaboo, but was soon rebranded.
The appeal of Snapchat to a younger audience makes it all the more important that tweens and teens are made aware that the application's "self-destruct" feature doesn't mean your image is necessarily gone for good. This is especially important with the issue of sexting among today's youth.
"A lot of naive people seem to question what privacy actually is," Roo wrote on her Facebook page. "Anyone can screenshot a picture of you and share it, regardless if you think it's on a 'safe' app!"