Snap said it would no longer promote US President Donald Trump’s account in Snapchat’s Discover section, saying his incendiary comments last week made the account ineligible for the curated section where users explore new content.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” the company 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.”
Shares fell 2.4% after the announcement.
Trump’s Snapchat account, which consists mostly of campaign content and does not contain the informal rhetoric he regularly uses on his favoured platform Twitter, will remain public and accessible to people who follow it or search for it, Snap said.
Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is seeking to oust Trump in the November presidential election, quickly capitalised on the move. In a video posted to Snapchat, he said, grinning, that he was proud to run for president “and still be on Snapchat”.
In a statement, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale accused Snap of trying to rig the election by promoting Biden while suppressing Trump’s content. He said Snap promoted “extreme left riot videos” and encouraged users to “destroy America”.
Snap said the Discover section features voices across the political spectrum, including both Republicans and Democrats.
Twitter ignited a furor last week by placing labels on several of Trump’s tweets that it said violated its rules on misleading information and glorifying violence, including one which used the racially charged phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
Facebook declined to take any action on the same posts, prompting an employee protest on Monday.
Snap did not specify which of Trump’s comments it considered inciteful, but CEO Evan Spiegel told staffers in a memo on Sunday he would “walk the talk” on divisive content and the “legacy of racial violence and injustice in America”.
He noted that the Discover section is “a curated platform, where we decide what we promote”.
The company said its decision to remove the president’s content from Discover was made over the weekend. — Reported by Katie Paul, with additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, (c) 2020 Reuters