March 18, 2022
Today, Kristin Bride, mother of Carson Bride who died by suicide at age 16 after being bullied on anonymous messaging apps commended Snap Inc. (operator of Snapchat app) for making a decision to ban these features on the platform sought by teens. She calls on other tech companies to remove the same inherently dangerous anonymous apps and features.
In 2020, Carson Bride took his own life at the age of 16 after he had been relentlessly cyberbullied on two anonymous messaging apps—Yolo and LMK— that contained integrations into the Snapchat platform. In May 2021, Kristin Bride and the Tyler Clementi Foundation, an advocacy group that combats bullying and harassment, filed a lawsuit challenging these anonymous messaging apps as inherently dangerous for teenagers like Carson and alleging that the makers of the apps misled consumers about their safety protections. Less than a year later, Snap Inc. has now announced that it will ban these types of anonymous messaging apps from Snapchat’s platform.
Kristin Bride said “We believe that our lawsuit and advocacy contributed to Snap’s decision to ban anonymous messaging apps. Nothing can reverse the loss of our son, but we will focus our energy on holding accountable the companies — YOLO and LMK — whose apps led to the bullying of my son.”
Jane Clementi, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation stated “We are pleased to see Snap make these necessary changes to ensure the safety of all users on their platform, especially youth. We hope this will help lead the way for all future app developers to understand the need to eliminate anonymity in the digital world.”
Juyoun Han, a partner at Eisenberg & Baum LLP, said: “In our lawsuit, we asked social media companies to walk-the-talk and enforce their own policies to protect children and teens. We are glad that Snap has taken this important step and heightened the standards for safety.”
Peter Romer-Friedman, a principal and head of the class actions and civil rights practice at Gupta Wessler, said “We’re heartened to see Snap remove apps we believe are inherently dangerous for teenagers. Other tech companies should evaluate their own apps and follow suit.”
Juyoun Han (email@example.com) at Eisenberg & Baum LLP; Eric Baum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peter Romer-Friedman (email@example.com) at Gupta Wessler PLLC
Case: Bride et al. v. Snap Inc. et al. No. 21-cv-6680, Central District of California