Snap, the company behind Snapchat, just announced that they are no longer promoting the Snapchat account of President Trump after determining his comments offline could incite violence. It’s the latest news around the conflict between social media companies and the president’s online actions.
Trump’s accounts will remain on the platform, which is widely popular among younger users. However, it will no longer be promoted on its Discover home page for news and stories, which promotes the accounts of high-profile users like actors, musicians, and government officials.
Trump and Social Media
Last week, Twitter fact-checked Trump’s tweet where he stated that mail-in ballots would result in voter fraud. The president made this statement without any evidence to back it up. As a result, Twitter responded by citing sources that questioned the link between mail-in ballots and voter fraud.
There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
Trump threatened to regulate or shut down social media platforms and accused them of being unfair to Republicans and messing with the upcoming election.
Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
He also followed up by signing an executive order that targeted all social media companies. In it, he claims to be defending free speech, and that social media companies threaten a users’ rights to free speech any time they suspend users, delete posts, or question a post’s validity.
Snap is now taking action as a response to Trump’s recent tweets posted this past weekend. In them, he threatened to send “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” into nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” Rachel Racusen, a Snap spokeswoman, said, the New York Times reports.
On Monday, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in a blog to address the nationwide unrest in response to Floyd’s death and how Snap would be taking action.
“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,” he wrote. He also added that acccounts would not be removed, as seen with Trump’s.
As of publishing, Trump has yet to comment on Snap’s recent announcement.