(CBS News)–The company behind Snapchat announced Wednesday that it would stop promoting President Trump’s account on the social media app, saying it did not want to “amplify” those who “incite racial violence.” It’s the latest instance of a social media company taking steps in response to the president’s inflammatory posts, after Twitter last week began fact-checking and flagging violations in some of his tweets.
Snap Inc. said Mr. Trump’s account will no longer be promoted on Snapchat’s Discover tab, which boosts content from politicians, celebrities and news outlets. However, the president’s Snapchat account will still be active and available to the public.
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snap said in a statement. “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 said it made the decision after Mr. Trump tweeted over the weekend that protesters outside the White House would be “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.” Those messages did not appear on his Snapchat account.
Mr. Trump’s Snapchat account has more than 1.5 million followers. Unlike Twitter, which the president uses for direct communication with the public, the Snapchat account mostly features videos and memes promoting the president and his reelection campaign. It also sometimes posts screenshots of his tweets.
The Trump campaign recently told Bloomberg News that it saw Snapchat, and its Discover tab in particular, as a crucial space for attracting young voters.
The campaign responded with a statement Wednesday that included several false or unsubstantiated accusations about Snapchat’s move.
“Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election, illegally using their corporate funding to promote Joe Biden and suppress President Trump,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said. The statement said Snapchat did not not want to “share the positive words of unity, justice, and law and order from our President.”
Twitter last week became the first social media company to draw a clear line on the president’s rhetoric, when it fact-checked a Trump tweet that contained falsehoods about voting. Twitter also flagged a different Trump tweet about protesters and said it was violating Twitter’s policy against “glorifying violence.”
Mr. Trump retaliated with an executive order on removing liability protections for social media companies over content posted by users, though it is certain to face legal challenges.
First published on June 3, 2020 / 3:36 PM
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