AMERICA— On Wednesday, June 3, Evan Spiegal announced that his company, Snap Inc., will stop promoting President Donald Trump’s account in its Discover section.
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” the company 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.”
According to the Bloomberg news agency, President Trump has more than 1.5 million followers on Snapchat, which has tripled over the last eight months. His regular account “RealDonaldTrump” will remain on the platform and still appear in search results for anyone that subscribes to his account. Trump’s social media accounts which include his Twitter, Facebook pages, Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat collectively add up to nearly 87 million followers altogether.
“Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election, illegally using their corporate funding to promote Joe Biden and suppress President Trump.” stated Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale following Snapchat’s announcement.
With Snapchat’s decision to stop promoting Trump’s content, Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg still stood his ground on the company’s free speech principles, stating that the president’s posts should be left untouched.
“A small handful of social media monopolies controls a vast portion of all public and private communications in the United States,” Trump claimed after signing a recent executive order aiming at social media companies and the 1996 statute that protects companies from lawsuits. The 1996 statute has been known to have allowed tech giants to collect billions of dollars from users’ posts, likes, videos, tweets, etc. Trump continues, “They’ve had unchecked power to censor, restrict, alter, virtually any form of communication between private citizens and large public audiences.”
As first reported by Axios, Senator Marsha Blackburn, a GOP tech critic commented on the matter saying, “Taking President Trump off the Snap Discover page is a decision rooted in partisanship. Snap should spend less time targeting our Commander in Chief and more time taking down drug dealers and child predators on its platform.”
Katie Fallow, a senior staff attorney, disagreed stating that this is well within Snapchat’s right to be able to moderate free speech within the company. “There’s certainly no First Amendment violation because the First Amendment only applies to actions by the government, not by private companies.”