Snapchat Filter Becomes Gen-Z Crime-Fighting Tool

By | June 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM
On left Ethan, on right Ethan’s feminized photo made with the Snapchat “gender swap” filter.
Photo credit: NBC Bay Area

The snapchat gender-swap filter has become a crime-fighting tool. Recently, 20-year-old Ethan, a college student from the San Fransisco south bay area, was empathetically distraught after a friend disclosed they had suffered sexual abuse as a young person. Using the popular snapchat filter he took a feminized photo of himself. With the photo, he created a female persona named “Ester” for the Tinder app. Ethan listed Ester’s age as 19 because Tinder has age guidelines. When a man swiped right and messaged Ethan’s Ester “Are you down to have some fun tonight” he then asked if they could switch their conversation to snapchat.


40-year-old Robert Davies of the San Mateo Police Department
Photo credit San Jose PD / NBC Bay Area

Ethan messaged the man as Ester that “she” was only 16 and asked if that would be a problem. It wasn’t. The man ended up being 40-year-old Robert Davies, an officer of the San Mateo police department. Ethan took screenshots of his snapchat interactions with Davies and passed them along to “Crime Stoppers”. Robert Davies was arrested on suspicion of discussing sexual activity with a minor on social media and later charged with communicating with a minor to commit a crime. San Mateo police department took active inaction and gave the officer “paid administrative leave”. Ethan said in his interview with NBC Bay Area’s Ian Cull “I was just looking to get someone, he just happened to be a cop.” You got ’em, Ethan. Good Job.