Jan 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Snapchat locks Trump's account amid chaos in Washington

President Donald Trump speaks at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A Snapchat spokesperson confirmed late Wednesday evening that the company locked President Trump's Snapchat account, making it the fourth major platform to take action on Trump's social media accounts.

Details: The company made the decision because it believes the account promotes and spreads hate and incites violence, the spokesperson said.

  • Snapchat's Community Guidelines prohibit hate speech, incitements or glorification of violence, the spread of misinformation that could cause harm, including conspiracy theories and efforts to undermine elections.
  • Accounts, including those from figures as prominent as the President will have offending content remove, not labeled, which is a stricter protocol than some of Snapchat's competitors.

What they're saying: "We can confirm that earlier today we locked President Trump's Snapchat account," Snap spokesperson Rachel Racusen told Axios.

The big picture: Twitter on Wednesday removed three of the president's tweets and locked his account for 12 hours, saying it may ban him if he doesn't stop breaking its rules with his false claims.

Flashback: Snapchat was one of the first major social platforms to take serious action on President Trump's account for threats to democracy in June when the company said it stopped promoting his account in its "Discover" section, which features professional content and content from prominent people.

  • That preemptive action meant that Trump’s account has not been visible to Snapchat users unless they chose to subscribe or search for him. 
  • Snapchat has been able to avoid most of the regulatory and industry pressure around misinformation, in part because it has stricter standards around the way it polices content.
  • "From the outset, we designed Snapchat differently than traditional social media -- to protect against the spread of misinformation and harmful viral content," a spokesperson said. "Our platform is built for communicating with close friends, we have long deliberately emphasized curated and moderated content, and we don’t allow unvetted content to be shared with a large audience."

Go deeper: Snapchat will no longer promote Trump's account in Discover

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