Snapchat locked President Donald Trump’s account after pro-Trump rioters stormed the United States Capitol. A Snap spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the action was taken on Wednesday and added that the company will monitor the situation closely before re-evaluating its decision.
This is not the first time Snap has taken action against Trump’s account over concerns about dangerous rhetoric from the president. In June, it announced content from Trump’s Snapchat would no longer be promoted in its Discover tab, and would only be visible to users if they subscribe to or search for it.
In a blog post published shortly before Snap announced its decision, co-founder and chief executive officer Evan Spiegel said that Snapchat “simply cannot promote accounts in America that are linked to people who incite racial violence, whether they do so on or off our platform.”
Unlike many other social media platforms, Snapchat was created for users to communicate with friends instead of a wider audience, the Snap spokesperson said. It has focused on making it harder to spread misinformation by relying on moderated and vetted content. For example, the Discover tab only features content from editorial partners like Reuters and other news organizations.
Twitter also locked Trump out of his account after forcing the removal of three tweets, but that action may last for only 12 hours. Facebook and Instagram locked Trump out of posting for 24 hours and blocked the #StormTheCapitol hashtag.
Many activists are calling for Twitter and Facebook to make their bans permanent, with ethics organization Accountable Tech tweeting that “the violent assault on the Capitol today has been heartbreaking, but not entirely unexpected. Sadly, Twitter and Facebook’s preparedness and response has been wildly inadequate. Simply labeling incitements of violence is not enough.”