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Snapchat will no longer promote President Trump’s account on its Discover media platform, the company said Wednesday morning.
Evan Spiegel-led Snap said it made the decision after determining that Trump’s comments could incite violence. The company pointed to tweets from Trump over the weekend in which he threatened to send “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” to stop the protests that have been taking place across the country in response to the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of the police.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. “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.”
Snap’s decision comes as social media platforms weigh their role in disseminating the comments of the president that threaten violence or contain misinformation. Last week, Twitter began labeling tweets from the president that violate its policies. Facebook, meanwhile, has said it would not take action on Trump’s posts, a decision that led employees to stage a virtual walkout on Monday.
Trump denounced Twitter’s move and signed an executive order that charged federal regulators with pulling back the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability in what is posted to their platforms.
Trump’s account will remain public on Snapchat, and users will be able to continue to search for and subscribe to it. Snapchat has long maintained that Discover is a curated feed and not a public “town square.”
Over the weekend, Spiegel sent a memo to staff saying that he was “heartboken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color in America.” In the lengthy message, published to the Snapchat blog on Monday, Spiegel went on to call for the creation of a nonpartisan Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations. “We must begin a process to ensure that America’s black community is heard throughout the country, investigate the criminal justice system for bias and prejudice, strengthen the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and take action on the recommendations for reconciliation and reparations made by the Commission,” he wrote.
Snapchat, which began as a communication tool and has expanded to feature entertainment and news programming on its Discover page, has 229 million daily active users.
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