35-year-old Anthony Hodges of Pontiac, Michigan is a real piece of work. He is accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl that he met on Snapchat. Hodges allegedly started talking to the girl online when she was 11. According to most reports, Hodges is said to have used Snapchat’s location feature to find out where the girl lived.
The girl was reported as a runaway back in August. When police found her, she said she was on her way to her ‘boyfriend’s’ house. Police believe that the pair had plans to run away together.
To make matters as worse as they could possibly be, Hodges is also said to be HIV positive. He reportedly did not tell his 12-year-old victim.
Getting back to Snapchat though, let’s talk about their location service. It’s called Snap Map and I first posted about it here. According to Snapchat, the feature is turned off by default. if it’s turned on, only people on your friends list can see your location. However, it’s not unreasonable to assume that a predator who is grooming a victim can convince the child to turn the feature on.
Now, while Hodges is obviously a danger to society, no 11 or 12-year-old needs to be on Snapchat. Snapchat’s own terms of service state that users have to be at least 13 years of age. Even then, you shouldn’t just let them roam free on Snapchat without any parental supervision. Make sure their profiles are not set to public and ask about all the people on their friends list. Or you could have police pick them up from the home of a middle-aged deviant. The choice is yours.