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Posting to social app could have far-reaching consequences for students sharing illicit activity

Sharing on Mojo– the app formerly known as Fleek– could be a ten-second process. Snap a photo of yourself or a friend, post it to the college-focused app and think you’ve shared a photo with your college campus for no more than a day.

The app that hosted the bruin.snaps account on Snapchat is filled with photos of student photographs and videos.

One day, it’s all Chipotle burritos and breakfasts at the caf.

The next– full nudity, bongs and drinking in dorm rooms.

While sharing content on Mojo may seem innocent and fleeting– 10 seconds of fun shared with 8,000 of your closest friends– the results could reach further than posters think.

Mojo collects and shares information from college campuses across the United States. This means photos and videos posted to the app may reach not only students on Belmont’s campus but at other universities as well.

All of this is covered by Mojo’s terms of use, Belmont University counsel Jason Rogers said, which states all media shared through the company may become public, and the company cannot stop users from sharing photos through other social media sites.

Belmont leadership is fully aware of the app and is in the process of investigating Title IX and legal implications against students who post illicit activity to it.

Freshman Leah Hodgkiss followed bruin.snaps on Snapchat, never submitting anything to the story, but following along nonetheless as she and her best friend tried to identify who was in each picture.

“It’s everything you wouldn’t want your mother to see. Pictures of boobs, butts, nudes, weed, alcohol, cigs, partying. It’s anonymous, but, I mean, they’re pictures. They’re going to be identifiable to someone,” Hodgkiss said.

And the vast majority of the time, the photos did carry identifying traits, Hodgkiss said.

“I don’t specifically know the people,” she said. “But their face/hair/outfit/dorm/voice/friends are in the snap and that tells you, or at least suggests it.”

This can cause trouble for students who might not be aware that identifiable photos of themselves could be circulating the internet, shared by other users.

“Anything you consensually post on social media becomes ‘fair game’ for third parties to distribute. So while you may post a photo that you intend only your friends to view, if a third party can access it, they can use it as they wish. For these reasons, the university does not condone students posting photos or videos of themselves that depict illegal or inappropriate behavior on any social media sites,” Assistant Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator Molly Zlock said.

It’s shadowy territory, especially when it comes to students spreading photos of others.

“If a student shares a photo of another that involves defamatory, illegal or indecent content without the permission of the person depicted in the photo, the person who shared the photo could be subject to civil legal liability to the person depicted,” Rogers said.

Belmont leadership recently found out about the app and is currently in the process of monitoring it, as well as getting in touch with other institutions that have had similar issues. It will also decide on disciplinary measures to take for those who have posted media of those violating Belmont’s community commitments and policies, Zlock said.

Furthermore, any student who feels his or her photo was shared on the app without his or her knowledge should get in touch with Zlock or another university employee, she said.

“Title IX certainly comes into play if someone’s picture is posted to a social media site without their consent. That may result in a sexual misconduct violation. Depending on the circumstances, several violations could come into play including sexual exploitation, stalking and/or sexual harassment,” Zlock said.

Having pictures of illegal or inappropriate activity circulating online could lead to disciplinary action within the university, and it could also affect students’ professional lives outside of college.

“The effects of this behavior could have lifelong consequences,“ Zlock said.

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