Scoop: Snapchat Will Ban Trump’s Account Permanently

Snapchat will permanently ban President Trump’s account on January 20, Axios has learned, closing it indefinitely last week after the Capitol siege.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign and digital team relied on Snapchat as the company served as an important platform to reach younger audiences before it began limiting its reach in June. Most of Snapchat’s users are under 30.

What is happening: “Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump’s Snapchat account, and are assessing what long-term action is for our Snapchat community,” a spokesperson told Axios.

  • “In the interests of public safety, and based on their efforts to spread misinformation, hate speech, and incite violence, which are in clear violation of our guidelines, we have decided to permanently terminate their account.”

description: Sources in the company say that in recent months Trump’s account repeatedly broke Snapchat’s rules against misinformation, foul language and glorification or inciting violence.

  • A source tells Axios that the Trump account attempted to violate policies “dozens of times”. After each incident, Snapchat quickly removed its content and warned its team before gaining much visibility.
  • Sources in the company say that the move was spurred not just by the action on Snapchat but by the record of inciting violence on other platforms. Snapchat leaders felt Trump was a matter of widespread public safety.

Flashback: In June, Snapchat stopped promoting its account in its “Discover” section, citing the social implications of Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, which includes professional content and key people content.

  • That retrospective action meant that Trump’s account was not visible to Snapchat users until they opted to subscribe or search for it.

big picture: Snapchat follows Twitter, Shopify and a few other platforms to permanently ban Donald Trump’s account following last week’s events.

  • Last week, Snapchat was the first platform to announce that Trump’s account was suspended indefinitely. Several other platforms have imposed a temporary ban on her account.

Be smart: Snapchat has been able to avoid most of the regulatory and industry pressures around missteps, as it has strict standards around the way content is handled.

  • The app does not have any public newsfeed for unweet content to go viral, and user-generated content in the Discover section of Snapchat is kept separate from professional, weighted content.
  • Snapchat routinely blocks certain keywords, such as “stop the steel”, from appearing in its search bar.

What to see: Capital Siege has already begun to ignite a conversation about how social media platforms are structured and monitored.

  • While Snapchat is smaller than platforms such as Facebook and Google, its architecture has proven to be both effective in limiting misinformation and preventing bad actors from organizing and planning real-world violence.

Go in: Snapchat closes Trump’s account amid chaos in Washington


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