There's something rather terrifying about the access social media can give strangers to your personal life. Online harassment and stalking have become such relevant crimes in the past few years that it's only fitting Lifetime would tackle cyber harassment in a movie. In Watch Your Back, a woman starts being harassed through a phone app called Flashchat, which appears to be the fictional equivalent of Snapchat. And while Watch Your Back isn't based on any real life events, its plot has more than a few things in common with some actual crimes.
In the movie, the main character Sarah has finally gotten to a point in her life where she has always wanted to be. She has just married a man that loves her and has become the stepmother to her his young daughter. Then suddenly, Sarah starts receiving messages and photos of herself via Flashchat that are threatening. But because the photos and messages disappear after viewing them, there's really no way Sarah can prove that she is being harassed.
You'll have to tune in to Lifetime on Saturday, March 7 to see how Sarah handles the horrific situation, but for now, here a few similar real-life cases of online harassment.
Snapchat In The U.K.
In November 2014, a 20-year-old in the U.K. was emotionally harassing young girls (age 13-15) into sending him nude photos. According to a report by Western Morning News, he would tell the girls he would commit suicide (even going as far as sending a photo of him holding a gun to his head), which would then lead the girls to sending photos of themselves. The man would find his victims on Facebook and after messaging them enough, would move the conversations to Snapchat (where messages disappear). Don't worry, he was arrested.
Former Athlete On Snapchat
The Tennessee Tech Oracle recently wrote about a Snapchat harassment case in which a former athlete allegedly sent sexually harassing messages and nude photos to women. When the victim blocked him — this is when it gets super super scary — the former athlete allegedly created a fake account to get around harassing her. No charges have come to light, but if any are pressed, he will face stalking and harassment charges.
The Father Who Stood Up For His Daughter
Snapchat is also extremely popular with young teenagers. There was a case in January of 2015 that told the story of young teens bullying a girl via the popular app. A Minnesota father made a YouTube video about his eighth-grade daughter being bullied over Snapchat by two freshman brothers. The father's viral video asked for the boys to own up to their comments and I just hope they listened.