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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

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

1 hour ago - Sports

Robot umpires inch closer to calling MLB games

The Automated Ball-Strike system (ABS), the tech powering what's colloquially known as robo-umps, is inching ever closer to the big leagues.

Driving the news: The independent Atlantic League — which has partnered with MLB since 2019 — last week announced it was doing away with robo-umps after testing them for the past season-and-a-half.

FBI conducts "court-authorized" search of Rep. Henry Cuellar's home

Rep. Henry Cuellar. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The FBI said it conducted a "court-authorized" search on Wednesday in the area of the Texas home of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

State of play: "The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity," an FBI spokesperson told Axios, adding that they "cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation."

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