Snapchat, a popular social network for young people born at the turn of the 2000s, joined Twitter on Wednesday to soften the echo of messages from Donald Trump, who “incite racial violence” in a country where hundreds of thousands have marched since. 10 days against violence against the black minority.
Snapchat has announced that it will no longer promote messages from the President, even if they remain visible to subscribers to his account and appear when a user does a specific search.
“We are not going to amplify voices that incite racial violence and injustice by promoting them for free on” Discover “”, the network’s news feed where users can find news, recommendations and even publications from media or well-known figures, the company said.
Snapchat joins Twitter, which provoked the ire of the President of the United States last week by putting warnings on the messages he sends to his more than 81 million subscribers. One concerned electoral fraud that Twitter believed to be misinformation and the other could suggest that the president was calling for the looting of looters.
The two networks have however chosen not to ban Donald Trump entirely.
The latter took very badly the initiatives of Twitter, taking advantage of his audience on the network to denounce what he perceives as censorship and a confirmation of a bias from the left and against the Republican party.
The presidential campaign for his re-election also quickly published a press release accusing Snapchat of wanting to “rig” the November 3 poll.
“Peace, love, equality and justice”
” The CEO. Snapchat extremist Evan Spiegel prefers to promote videos of far-left riots and encourage its users to destroy America rather than sharing the positive message of unity, justice, law and order. president, “accuses the campaign.
“Racial violence and injustice have no place in society and we stand in solidarity with all those who seek peace, love, equality and justice in America,” said Snapchat in an email to l ‘AFP.
Over the weekend, Spiegel had sent a long letter to employees of Snap, the network’s parent company, to condemn what he saw as the perpetuation of racial injustice in America.
“Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and injustice, we act on behalf of those who do evil,” he wrote.
This announcement – like that of Twitter – arrives as hundreds of thousands of people have been demonstrating for more than a week throughout the country – demonstrations sometimes interspersed with violence and looting – against police violence against visible minorities and in particular in the black population.
The death of George Floyd, asphyxiated by a police officer while handcuffed and offering no resistance, nine days ago, was the trigger for these protests in a country already hit by a pandemic there. killed more than 100,000 people and left tens of millions unemployed.
Unlike Twitter or now Snapchat, Facebook, the world’s leading social network, has chosen not to flag or censor the President’s messages in any way.
A decision assumed by Mark Zuckerberg, the director and founder of Facebook, but criticized very publicly by some of its employees, some having preferred to resign than to continue working for the company.
Publicly, the young billionaire camps on positions which had been exposed for a long time last year during an ultra-mediatized speech in front of the university of Georgetown, and which can be summarized by two conclusions: one should not delete the messages of the president, in the name of freedom of expression and the public interest in obtaining information, and it is not up to a private company to determine who has the right to speak.
However, Facebook says even political speeches can be censored if they praise violence or hatred, for example.
Stung by Twitter, Donald Trump quickly signed a decree attacking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The cornerstone of the American Internet, it notably offers Facebook, Twitter or YouTube (Google) immunity from any legal action related to content published by third parties and gives them the freedom to intervene on platforms as they see fit.
The decree seeks to change the scope of this 1996 law and states that immunity cannot be extended to those who practice “censorship from certain points of view”.