Snapchat’s gender swap filter is looking more and more realistic these days, a fact that a San Francisco Bay Area college student used to take down a police officer looking for an underage Tinder hookup.
Ethan, who is a 20-year-old college student, took a photo of himself and used the gender swap filter. He used that photo of himself to pretend to be a girl named Esther in order to hunt predators.
Ethan said he was motivated to hunt down potential predators after a female friend shared about her childhood molestation.
His fake Tinder profile listed Esther’s age as 19.
San Mateo police officer Robert Davies started up a conversation with “Esther” on Tinder, then moved the conversation to Kik Messenger and Snapchat.
Davies messaged Ethan saying “Are you down to have some fun tonight?” and then Ethan “decided to take advantage of it.”
Around this point, Ethan told Davies that Esther was 16 and asked if that would bother Davies. It did not. Their messages grew more explicit over the next 12 hours.
Ethan sent screengrabs of the conversation to Crime Stoppers.
Last week, Davies was arrested on suspicion of discussing sexual activity with a minor on social media, according to the San Jose Police Department.
In response, the San Mateo Police Department has noted that Davies’ actions occurred while he was off-duty in another country and that he has since been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said in a statement: “This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a Department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole.”