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Snapchat stops promoting Trump, saying his comments ‘incite racial violence’

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Snapchat will no longer promote President Trump’s account on its service, adding to the pushback by social media companies against his inflammatory posts.

Trump’s account will no longer appear on Snapchat’s Discover tab, an area where news sites, celebrities, and politicians are showcased. Trump’s account will, however, remain publicly accessible on the service. 

The decision by Snapchat’s parent Snap was based on Trump’s recent posts on rival Twitter in which he lauded the Secret Service for protecting the White House from people protesting the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis resident who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck. In the tweet, Trump said if protestors had breached the fence they would’ve been met with “vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” a Snap spokesperson said. “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 is the second social media company to take action against Trump in recent days. Last week, Twitter placed one of his tweets behind a warning telling viewers that the posts had violated the service’s rules against “glorifying violence.” That was shortly after the company had labeled a Trump’s tweet about mail-in ballots as misinformation. 

The move enraged Trump, who reacted by signing an executive order aimed at removing legal protections that keep social media companies from being held liable for what their users post. On Tuesday, tech advocacy nonprofit The Center for Democracy and Technology challenged that order in federal court, calling it “a direct attack on the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

In contrast to Twitter and now Snapchat, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken a conspicuously hands-off approach to Trump, saying Trump hasn’t crossed the line into inciting violence. Zuckerberg’s explanations unleashed huge criticism both outside of Facebook and inside. A number of Facebook employee aired their displeasure on Twitter and staged a virtual walkout, marking an unprecedented public rebuke of Zuckerberg by his staff. Adding to the pressure, two Facebook quit, citing the episode as partly the reason for their departures.

Snap disclosed its decision on Sunday when CEO Evan Spiegel sent an internal memo, later posted online, saying the company will no longer promote accounts linked to “people who incite racial violence, whether they do so on or off our platform.” 

“We will make it clear with our actions that there is no grey area when it comes to racism, violence, and injustice – and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform,” Spiegel said.

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Lyron Foster is a Hawaii based African American Musician, Author, Actor, Blogger, Filmmaker, Philanthropist and Multinational Serial Tech Entrepreneur.

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