Is another social media company trying to put a thumb on the scale against President Trump during this election cycle? It looks like it. This time it is Snapchat.
Yesterday I wrote about Reddit and how that social media company rushed through a change to adjust its algorithm after a subreddit of Trump supporters became popular. We know that Silicon Valley is notoriously liberal in their politics. Now Senator Ted Cruz is calling out Snapchat over what he sees as censorship of Trump’s account on their platform.
Snapchat is best described as a multimedia messaging app, developed by Snap, Inc. What makes the app unique is that it allows the user to post a picture or message which then disappears after a certain amount of time. After a short time, recipients can no longer see the post. Snapchat was initially introduced in 2011. The company made a decision to stop promoting President Trump’s account on its platform. The move was done to penalize Trump for what the company sees as threats made to protesters by the president. Apparently, firmly speaking up and saying he will do what he can to stop the violence bringing havoc to major cities across the country is a bridge too far for them. Like others on the left, it is easier for them to fall in line with protests that are often overtaken by violent agitators than it is to support those who are responsible to serve and protect the public. We’ve seen this play out since 1968.
Now Snapchat finds itself in the political speech war. Trump supporters are criticizing the move, Biden supporters praise it. Here’s the thing – Snapchat isn’t penalizing Trump (and his campaign) for anything he has said or posted on Snapchat, it is a reaction to Trump’s interactions on other platforms, specifically on Twitter. This is why their action is troubling to Senator Cruz. Both he and the Trump campaign are speaking out against the decision.
“At this point, it is no surprise to anyone that Big Tech doesn’t believe in free speech and will happily censor views with which they disagree. But this move is extraordinary even when measured by that low bar,” Cruz, a frequent critic of the tech industry, told POLITICO in a statement. “Snapchat is explicitly censoring admittedly unobjectionable speech as punishment for completely unrelated speech off of Snapchat’s platform.”
The Trump campaign, which has railed against Twitter and at Silicon Valley more broadly over accusations they stifle conservative viewpoints, accused Snapchat and its leaders of “trying to rig the 2020 election, illegally using their corporate funding to promote Joe Biden and suppress President Trump.”
“Radical Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel would rather promote extreme left riot videos and encourage their users to destroy America than share the positive words of unity, justice, and law and order from our President,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.
Snap justifies the move by saying it will “not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion.” This affects the site’s ‘Discover’ section – a place where it promotes specific accounts. Trump’s account wasn’t taken down, but the site will no longer promote the president’s account as it has done up until now. “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 company continued. Like the rest of Trump’s opponents, Snap is blaming Trump for all of society’s injustices. It would seem the country had no such problems pre-Trump, right?
Sleepy Joe, as usual, botched it when he attempted to poke Trump about Snapchat’s decision. He doesn’t understand that Trump’s account is still there. He actually made the gaffe on Snapchat.
Biden, in contrast, appeared to voice support for Snapchat’s decision — and take a dig at Trump — in a video posted on the platform Wednesday.
“I just wanted to tell you I’m proud to be able to run for president and still be on Snapchat,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said.
.@JoeBiden weighs in on Snapchat’s decesion to stop promoting Trump’s account >>
“I just wanted to tell you I’m proud to be able to run for President and still be on Snapchat.”pic.twitter.com/d9D0Lw8fyi
— Matt Hill (@thematthill) June 3, 2020
Poor old Joe. Bless his heart. Another day, another quotable gaffe on a video produced in his basement.
To be clear, Snapchat is penalizing Trump on its platform for something posted on another platform, not on its own. The company isn’t virtue-signaling against Trump’s Snapchat’s posts. They are carrying water for Twitter and it’s decision to put fact checks on Trump’s tweets. It’s a blatant attempt to move Trump’s account out of the public eye when a user goes to the ‘Discover’ to search for celebrities or public figures. This hasn’t been done by any other social media company. Senator Cruz is right – it is censorship.