Snapchat will no longer promote President Donald Trump’s account, Snap Inc. told TheWrap on Wednesday, after determining the president’s recent comments promote violence and racial tension. Trump’s re-election campaign responded, saying the app “is trying to rig the 2020 election.”
Trump’s Snapchat account will remain on the platform but will no longer be featured on Discover, Snap’s page for curated news and stories. Snap made its decision this past weekend, according to a company rep, after the president tweeted “vicious dogs” and “the most ominous weapons” were being used against protestors who got “too frisky” in Washington D.C.
“We are not currently promoting the President’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform. We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” a Snap spokesperson told TheWrap. “Racial violence and injustice have no place in our society and we stand together with all who seek peace, love, equality, and justice in America.”
Snapchat will continue to promote presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s account on Discover, a Snap rep told TheWrap. The Snapchat stories featured on Discover, according to Snap’s website, are “put together and moderated by Team Snapchat, and some are created by third-party publishers.”
“Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election, illegally using their corporate funding to promote Joe Biden and suppress President Trump. Radical Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel would rather promote extreme left riot videos and encourage their users to destroy America than share the positive words of unity, justice, and law and order from our President,” said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale in a statement to TheWrap.
“Snapchat hates that so many of their users watch the President’s content and so they are actively engaging in voter suppression,” he went on, adding that the company, in the campaign’s view, does not want conservatives to vote or even “exist” on the platform.
President Trump’s digital team had been looking to use Snapchat more to sway young voters ahead of the 2020 election, according to a recent Bloomberg report. The president has about 1.5 million followers on the platform.
Snap’s decision comes after CEO Evan Spiegel said Snapchat would look to stop promoting, but not ban, accounts he believes tear at America’s social fabric.
“We will make it clear with our actions that there is no gray area when it comes to racism, violence and injustice,”Spiegel said in a memo posted to Snap’s blog on Monday “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.”
The decision also comes a week after the president sparred with Twitter, after the platform added a fact check to two of his tweets. Later in the week, Twitter also added a notification to one of the president’s tweets, saying it broke the company’s rules on “glorifying violence.” In retaliation, Trump signed an executive order asking for Section 230, a law that protects tech giants from being sued for what its users post, to be reviewed by the FCC. (One legal expert told TheWrap the executive order lacks “real teeth.”)
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, said his company is taking a more hands-off approach to moderating the president’s posts.
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Zuckerberg told Fox News last week. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”