Trump Campaign Chief Says Snapchat 'Trying to Rig the 2020 Election' after Promotion Ban for Inciting Violence

Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager has said Snapchat is "trying to rig the 2020 election" after it stopped promoting the president's content.

The photo-sharing and chatting app, popular with teenagers, confirmed yesterday that it would no longer display Trump promotions on its Discover tab—which shows posts and advertising of high-profile users, including politicians and celebrities.

Following the precedent recently set by Twitter, the firm said its decision was linked to social media comments by the president alluding to state violence.

"We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover," the official Snap statement said. "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 decision prompted a response from Brad Parscale, who described Snapchat boss Evan Spiegel as "radical" and suggested the app had an anti-conservative bias.

Parscale said: "Snapchat is 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. Snapchat hates that so many of their users watch the President's content and so they are actively engaging in voter suppression.

"If you're a conservative, they do not want to hear from you, they do not want you to vote. They view you as a deplorable and they do not want you to exist on their platform," he said, using a term that was co-opted in 2016 after being used as an attack on Trump supporters by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

According to Statista, just over half of Snapchat users in the U.S. were between 15 and 25 years old as of Q3 last year, followed by 26-35 years old at roughly 33 percent.

Bloomberg reported last month Trump has amassed more than 1.5 million followers on the platform. It is viewed as important to the 2020 campaigning effort as it is being used by a younger demographic, some on the cusp of voting for the first time.

Despite losing the promotional privileges, Trump's account remains active. The changes mean promotional content will now only be seen by those who subscribe.

Democratic rival Joe Biden, running against Trump in the upcoming presidential election, responded to the news via his own Snapchat account. "I just wanted to tell you I'm proud to be able to run for President and still be on Snapchat," Biden 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

The decision to remove Trump from Discover was a result of tweets threatening to use "vicious dogs" and "ominous weapons" against U.S. citizens protesting the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, The New York Times reported.

....have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. “We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020

Last week, Twitter put a warning label on a tweet by the president that contained the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" as it was deemed to be "glorifying violence." Facebook did not remove the post, sparking protests by employees.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in a memo sent to his team members on May 31 that he was left "heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color" across the country. He did not mention the president by name.

"We simply cannot promote accounts in America that are linked to people who incite racial violence, whether they do so on or off our platform," he wrote.

"Our Discover content platform is a curated platform, where we decide what we promote. We have spoken time and again about working hard to make a positive impact, and we will walk the talk with the content we promote on Snapchat.

"We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way."

Snapchat
A smart phone with the login screen for the social networking apps Snapchat is seen on the screen on June 29 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Snap confirmed yesterday that it was not currently showing the president’s content on its Discover tab. S3studio/Getty