Snap slap for Trump chat
Image credit: Thought Catalog | Unsplash
Social media platform Snap has said it will no longer promote US President Donald Trump's account on Snapchat's Discover feature.
Snap, the company behind the hugely popular Snapchat app, has announced it will stop promoting President Trump's account after deciding that his recent public comments – posted to other social networks – were likely to incite violence.
Snap confirmed that Trump's Snapchat account would remain live, but that it would no longer be promoted on the app's Discover home page, where users can quickly view and access the latest content from popular and high-profile users.
Snap said its decision to no longer highlight Trump's posts followed the President's recent tweets in which he threatened to send “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” into the crowds of protestors in many US cities voicing their anger after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” Rachel Racusen, a Snap spokesperson, said.
In a message to Snap's employees, CEO Evan Spiegel said: “We will make it clear with our actions that there is no gray area when it comes to racism, violence and injustice. We simply cannot promote accounts in America that are linked to people who incite racial violence, whether they do so on or off our platform.”
In the staff memo, Spiegel explained that he reached his decision while considering the future of the US and Snap's role in shaping public sentiment and attitudes, reflecting on the intentions of the founding fathers.
In response to Snap's announcement, Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump’s 2020 re-election bid, accused Spiegel of liberal bias: “Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election.”
Snap’s move follows Twitter's recent decisions to add a fact-check label to one of Trump's tweets and also to hide a subsequent tweet which Twitter deemed to be glorifying violence. These actions triggered a furious response from President Trump, who within days had signed an Executive Order aimed at stripping existing legal protections from social media platforms. The legality and likely success of Trump's Order is widely viewed as negligible.
By contrast, Facebook has left Trump’s recent inflammatory posts untouched, led by CEO and chairman Mark Zuckerberg's claim that Trump's posts are newsworthy and should remain visible to all – a laissez-faire approach that has not gone down well with many of the company's own employees.
Trump has a following of approximately 1.5 million people on Snapchat and 81 million on Twitter. During the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns in many countries, people have been spending more time on social media. Snap reported that its numbers for daily active users have surged in recent months.
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