Snapchat will stop promoting President Donald Trump‘s account, saying it will “not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice”.
Mr Trump’s account will still appear when searched for, but the social media app will no longer actively promote his account, or feature him using the discover function.
The discover tab promotes celebrities, influencers, news organisations and politicians who have accounts on Snapchat, according to Verge.
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Mr Trump has more than 1.5 million followers on the app, and sees it as a way to reach first time voters in the 2020 presidential election, according to Bloomberg.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, wrote: “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. 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 CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in a letter to employees on Sunday that Snapchat will attempt to make a difference by curating its discover tab, but will not delete accounts unless they breach their community guidelines.
“We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way,” he wrote.
Snap said they made the decision over the weekend, after Mr Trump tweeted that George Floyd protesters will be “greeted with the most vicious dogs and ominous weapons, I have ever seen”.
The protests have taken place across the US, following the death of Mr Floyd, a black man, who died after his neck was knelt on for almost nine minutes by Derek Chauvin, who at the time was a Minneapolis police officer.
Mr Trump’s campaign chairman, Brad Parscale, accused the company of “trying to rig the 2020 election, illegally using their corporate funding to promote Joe Biden and suppress President Trump”, in a statement sent to Verge.
“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,” Mr Parscale said.
In the last few weeks, there has been mounting pressure on social media sites to censor the president, after he published several inflammatory posts, including one about the protests, where he said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
The president tweeted: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Mr Trump’s post was later hidden and flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence,” but the next morning, the official White House Twitter account tweeted out the president’s post word for word and in quotation marks.
The tweet by the White House account was flagged and hidden for the same reasons as Mr Trumps’, but both were kept on the site by Twitter, as they argued they were in the “public’s interest”.
The post was also shared by the president to his Facebook page, but its founder, Mark Zuckerberg decided against flagging or taking down the controversial status, despite staff walkouts.
Mr Zuckerberg said: “I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies.”