Snapchat, the popular social-media app, has been getting a workout in its first political convention season as delegates and visitors use it to share photos, videos, and personal observations instantly everywhere.

It's also becoming a political weapon in the hands of sponsors who pay to reach the mostly younger users of the app.

Special convention filters allow users, who access them for free, to superimpose colorful pictures or words over their images. Some are fairly neutral, such as "Protest cam" - a reference to the thousands of protesters who have flocked to the city.

But some send pointed political messages.

"Hillary Clinton is a LIAR," one filter says, the word liar arranged in red block letters in the style of Philadelphia's well-known LOVE sculpture.

That filter also has an official sponsor noted on it: Harris Media L.L.C. The Texas-based political consulting firm focuses on social media and has worked for a number of Republican candidates, including former presidential contender Ted Cruz.

Harris Media purchased anti-Clinton Snapchat filters on behalf of a client, Secure America Now, said Regan Opel, the firm's director of advertising. Secure America Now is a conservative nonprofit organization.

"We've been using Snapchat as a way to reach out to young voters," said Opel, who was in Philadelphia to work for Secure America Now. She said the organization believes Clinton would be a threat to national security if she is elected president.

Another Snapchat filter the group purchased this week shows an orange prison jumpsuit and the words this suits Hillary better.

Opel declined to say how much the organization paid Snapchat for the ads.

The sponsored filters, she said, are available only near LOVE Park and the Convention Center.

Matthew Ray, creative director for the Philadelphia-based social-media firm Chatterblast, said his firm has paid from $30 to $5,000 for Snapchat filters, and the price varies depending on the length of time and size of area where it's available.

"The largest growing fan base of any platform is on Snapchat," Ray said.

Other sponsored filters this week included one saying that businessman and environmentalist Tom Steyer is "dividing Democrats," sponsored by Core News, a group that says its mission is to "hold environmental groups accountable," according to its website.

While candidates and groups should be aware of the power that Snapchat has for reaching target audiences, Ray said, it's still just one way to reach voters.

"I don't think we should start to worry that democracy is going to be burned down by Snapchat," he said.

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