Snap to stop promoting Trump's account because of threats against protesters

Source: Politico | June 3, 2020 | Steven Overly and Cristiano Lima

The decision may be one of the strongest stances yet from a social media company on how to handle incendiary remarks from the president.

The multimedia messaging app Snapchat said it will stop promoting President Donald Trump’s account to other users because of the threats he has made on other social media platforms about unleashing violence against protesters — a move Trump’s campaign assailed as an effort to rig the upcoming election against him.

The decision, which the company made over the weekend and announced Wednesday, is one of the strongest stances yet from a social media company as the industry grapples with how to handle incendiary remarks from the country’s most powerful leader.

Snap’s action is notably stronger and more sweeping than the fact-checking and warning labels Twitter slapped on Trump’s account last week, especially because Snap is reacting to statements the president has made elsewhere. And it comes from a platform that is popular among millennials and other young users.

The Trump campaign, which has railed against Twitter’s labels and at Silicon Valley more broadly over accusations they stifle conservative viewpoints, said Snapchat and its leaders are “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,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement Wednesday.

The company said in a statement that it took the action in an effort to “not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion.” The move applies to Snap’s “Discover” feature, a curated section of the app that allows people to find the accounts of celebrities, news organizations and other prominent users.

“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,” the company continued.

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