13 Jun 2019
How Snapchat's 'gender swap' filter helped arrest this pedophile cop
Although Snapchat has increasingly become less popular since Instagram introduced Stories, its recent 'gender swap' filter made it popular once again.
However, the filter did more than just put Snapchat back on the map; it recently helped catch a pedophile police officer!
A 20-year-old college student used the Snapchat gender swap filter to catfish a cop on Tinder and have him arrested.
The student set up Tinder profile using 'gender swap' filter
NBC Bay Area reported, Ethan (last name withheld), a San Francisco Bay Area college student, used Snapchat's viral 'gender swap' filter feature to create a Tinder profile where he pretended to be a 19-year-old girl (under-18 users are banned).
Reportedly, Robert Davies (40), who works with the San Mateo Police Department, then messaged Ethan, looking to hook-up, thinking he was a girl named "Esther".
'Esther' told cop she was 16; it didn't bother him
"I believe he messaged me, 'Are you down to have some fun tonight?' and I decided to take advantage of it," Ethan told the publication.
Reportedly, he later told Davies on a different app that he was 16 years old, but apparently, that didn't seem to bother the cop.
"We started texting on there, and it got a lot more explicit," Ethan added.
Here's why Ethan decided to put catfishing to good use
Ethan told the police that he was determined to find and report potential pedophiles near him after a friend of his told him how she was sexually assaulted as a child.
After exchanging messages with Davies for about 12 hours, he submitted the screenshots of his conversation to Crime Stoppers, which is a community program that allows people to anonymously report criminal activity.
Thanks to Ethan's complaint, Davies was arrested on June 6
Reportedly, Davies was arrested by San Jose Police on June 6 on suspicion of discussing sexual activity with a minor on social media.
The San Mateo Police Department has also placed him on administrative leave.
In a statement, San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said that Davies's actions were "an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole."
Here's what the 'gender swap' filter is all about
Over the past few months, Snapchat's gender swap filter has gone viral as users share pictures of masculine or feminine versions of themselves.
As popular as the filter has been, it has also faced backlash over enforcing the gender binary. Users have even criticized it for being transphobic and enforcing gender stereotypes- 'male' versions have square jaws, beard; 'female' versions have long hair, etc.