Snapchat is once again in the news but this time not for good reasons. The company CEO Evan Spiegel has been targeted by many in India, because he allegedly called India poor. But the interesting bit about the whole Snapchat fiasco is that no one clearly knows if Spiegel indeed said that or not. Probably he did say that Snapchat didn’t want to focus on countries like India and Spain that were poor. But there is no direct statement.
It is rather confusing, this whole Snapchat fiasco. So, here we try to cut through all that you have heard so far and attempt to clarify what exactly is the whole issue.
1. What did Snapchat CEO say?
So far nothing. Technically, Spiegel hasn’t spoken about India in public. As Variety on Saturday reported, the “poor India” statement actually come from Snapchat’s ex-employee Anthony Pompliano. Anthony, who was fired from Snapchat, told the website that Spiegel in September 2015 had told him that “the app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain”.
Since it is an indirect statement, its authenticity cannot be trusted at once. Also one should note the source of the statement i.e. Anthony Pompliano who is an ex-employee of Snapchat. He claims that he was fired by the company in just three weeks because he refused to spill the secrets of Facebook, his previous employer, to Snapchat. He also sued Snapchat in January this year claiming that company had not revealed the real reason for his termination and that was hindering his attempt of finding other jobs.
But at the same time, there is report by The Information, a US based tech news site that is widely respected for its accurate reporting. Although The Information doesn’t confirm the exact statement that has been attributed to Spiegel, it says that the Snapchat CEO indeed made remarks about India that were similar.
2. How Indians have reacted?
Hyper-reaction like always! Totally triggered. Of late, Indian users of a service reacting too fast to too little. The rating of Snapchat on the Apple iOS app store has gone down to 1 from 5. Many have uninstalled the app and many have slammed the app and its CEO on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Twitter is flooded with #boycottsnapchat and here are few of the outbursts to be seen.
— Pavneet Kaur (@pavneet_sudan_) April 16, 2017
— Shivam Pandit🇮🇳 (@shivam7066) April 18, 2017
— ❤$à¥áñtîkâ❤ (@Paul_Sayantika) April 16, 2017
Kids : Uninstall snapchat.
Men : Delete snapchat account and uninstall.
— ThisIsKaruna👑 (@karunadhupar) April 16, 2017
3. Has Snapchat said anything on the controversy?
Actually yes. The company has denied that its CEO called India poor. The company apparently has sent an official statement to several websites, claiming that these are false accusations. “This is ridiculous. Obviously Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free.”