Social Media

Snapchat removes Trump’s account from Discover feature

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 04, 2020 Published on June 04, 2020

Snapchat joined the Trump versus social media spat by becoming the latest network to pose restrictions on the reach of US President Donald Trump. The social media site cited that the president has been inciting “racial violence,” Agence France Presse reported.

Snapchat said it would no longer promote Trump on its Discover platform for recommended content.

"We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover," a statement from Snapchat said as cited in the AFP report.

The move came days after Twitter took a strong stance against President Trump by hiding one of his posts and said that it promoted violence.

Snapchat parent, Snap chief executive, Evan Spiegel, over the weekend sent a lengthy memo to employees. In the memo, he vehemently criticised what he saw as a legacy of racial injustice and violence in the US.

Snapchat will not promote accounts in the US that are linked to people who incite racial violence on or off the messaging platform, according to Spiegel.

"Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and wrongdoing we are acting in support of evildoers," Spiegel wrote as companies responded to the outrage over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota.

"I am heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color in America," he said.

Trump's account is not suspended from the platform. However, the platform won’t recommend his content moving forward, according to Snapchat.

"We will make it clear with our actions that there is no gray area when it comes to racism, violence, and injustice -- and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform," Spiegel said in the memo.

Snapchat is prominent among youngsters and millennials who look for news by accessing its Discover feature.

"There are plenty of debates to be had about the future of our country and the world," Spiegel said.

"But there is simply no room for debate in our country about the value of human life and the importance of a constant struggle for freedom, equality, and justice," he further added.

The move has not been taken well by Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale and he condemned the move.

He said as cited in the AFP report: "Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election, illegally using their corporate funding to promote Joe Biden and suppress President Trump."

Parscale said in a statement: "Snapchat hates that so many of their users watch the president's content and so they are actively engaging in voter suppression... If you're a conservative, they do not want to hear from you, they do not want you to vote. They view you as a deplorable and they do not want you to exist on their platform."

Twitter’s move last week enraged Trump who signed an executive order prompting stricter government oversight of social platforms. Trump accuses the platforms of "censorship" and limiting "free speech."

While the virtual war propels further, Facebook has chosen to sideline itself from the matter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated his position in a call with employees this week, according to reports. This came as the CEO has been criticised by civil rights activists for his policies that favour politicians.

Last month, Ken Farnaso, the Trump campaign deputy press secretary, told AFP that Snapchat was an important platform of the re-election effort and that the Republican was ahead of Biden on the platform.

"It's clear that we're wiping the floor with Biden's campaign," Farnaso said of the Snapchat effort.

Published on June 04, 2020
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