The instant picture-messaging app Snapchat announced Wednesday it would be removing President Donald Trump from its Discovery feature in the latest episode of big tech meddling in U.S. elections.
“We are not currently promoting the President’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” said Snap spokesperson Rachel Racusen. “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.”
The comments however, weren’t even made on Snapchat. The company is censoring Trump over a pair of tweets last week promising to defend the White House grounds if breached.
….have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. “We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
“We simply cannot promote accounts in America that are linked to people who incite racial violence, whether they do so on or off our platform,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in a memo to staff Sunday. “Our Discover content platform is a curated platform, where we decide what we promote. We have spoken time and again about working hard to make a positive impact, and we will walk the talk with the content we promote on Snapchat.”
After the social media site officially declared it would be ending the president’s promotion, the Trump campaign fired back.
“Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election, illegally using their corporate funding to promote Joe Biden and suppress President Trump,” said campaign manager Brad Parscale in a statement. “Snapchat hates that so many of their users watch the President’s content and so they are actively engaging in voter suppression. If you’re conservative, they do not want to hear from you, they do not want you to vote. They view you as a deplorable and they do not want you to exist on their platform.”
Snapchat’s decision to censor Trump based on a pair of tweets from another platform raises heightened concerns over the rise of chain-deplatforming in the nation’s new era of woke cancel culture where a prominent figure offering any comment that could be construed slightly offensive to the companies’ liberal owners could strip them of online access to the public, particularly to young people. Twitter, which has already employed blatant double standards in applying its rules and standards to the Trump campaign just began fact-checking the president’s tweets last week.
Snapchat meanwhile, has long been plagued with problems of its own including accusations that it harbors sex trafficking and child pornography.
“Snapchat Has A Child-Porn Problem,” headlined a 2017 piece in Bloomberg outlining how the site helps connect underage children and teenagers to pedophiles allowing for the free exchanging of instantly deleted photos discreetly.
“Snapchat has become a haven for child predators to be able to both exchange child pornography with each other, and to be able to induce children to send pictures of them to the predator,” observed John Jay College criminal justice Professor Adam Wandt in an interview with WBUR. “And we’re also seeing difficulty in law enforcement being able to investigate due to the safeguards Snapchat has in deleting both snaps and ‘stories’ after certain amounts of time.”
Last summer, Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn urged the tech giant to confront the problem plaguing its site.
“Snapchat by its very nature is a child predator’s dream,” Blackburn said on the floor of the Senate. “Its auto-delete feature allows individuals to ensure their pictures and videos erase themselves after only a few seconds. Its public location-sharing feature allows anyone – even underage children – to share their location in real time.”
As the company faces pressure to reform its website to prevent abuse from those who prey on children, the site continues to remain focused on censoring Trump by way of pointless virtue signaling to remain popular with its young liberal users, employing a double standard in the process.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is still benefitting from promotion on its Discovery feature, even two days after suggesting police shoot protestors, just in the legs though, “instead of in the heart.”