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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.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
1 hour ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

2 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.

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