Today we’re introducing Spotlight to shine a light on the most entertaining Snaps created by the Snapchat community.
Submit your best video Snaps to Spotlight for the opportunity to earn a share of more than $1 million that we’re distributing to creators every day!
Or, lean back, watch and pick your favourites!
For the opportunity to earn money, the Snaps you submit to Spotlight must follow our content guidelines and Terms. You must be 16 or older to earn.
We designed Spotlight to entertain our community while living up to Snapchat values, with our community’s wellbeing as a top priority. Spotlight content is moderated and doesn’t allow for public comments.
Spotlight is available starting in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France, with more countries coming soon.
Of course, we’ll continue to evolve Spotlight based on your feedback.
We can’t wait to see what you will create!
Rewarding creativity on Spotlight: shining a light on the best Snaps
Spotlight shines a light on the most entertaining Snaps created by the Snapchat community, no matter who created them. We built Spotlight to be a place where anyone’s content can take center stage – without needing a public account or an influencer following. It’s a fair and fun place for Snapchatters to share their best Snaps and see perspectives from across the Snapchat community.
Our content algorithms work to surface the most engaging Snaps you’d be interested in. We focus on serving the right Snaps to the right person at the right time. We do this by trying to understand your personal preferences.
Our ranking algorithm looks at factors that show people are interested in a particular Snap, like the amount of time spent watching it, if it is favourited and if it’s shared with friends. It also considers negative factors, including if the viewer skipped watching the Snap quickly. Snaps that appear in Spotlight can be from Snapchatters with private, personal accounts, or from Snap Stars with public profiles and millions of Subscribers.
Surfacing new types of entertainment
To help surface new types of content Snapchatters may be interested in and mitigate against echo chambers, we’ve built diversity directly into the Spotlight experience. We work hard to make sure that our algorithms are developed with diverse outcomes in mind.
We do that a few ways, including by building our algorithmic models using diverse training data sets, and vetting our models for biases and discrimination. We also use “exploration” mechanisms to ensure that you see new and diverse entertainment in Spotlight. This approach distributes views more fairly to a broad group of creators. It also teaches our algorithmic models that diversity and inclusion of different views should be part of their native function.
For example, if you show us in Spotlight that you really like dogs, we want to give you entertaining puppy Snaps to enjoy! But, we also want to make sure we’re surfacing other types of content, other creators and other adjacent interest areas for you, like creators who focus on nature, videos about travel, or even just other animals.
Spotlight is designed to reward creativity in a fair and fun way, and we’re distributing over $1 million every day to Snapchatters. Snapchatters must be 16 or older, and where applicable, obtain parental consent to earn. The scheme will run until the end of 2020, and potentially beyond.
Earnings are determined by a proprietary formula which rewards Snapchatters primarily based on the total number of unique video views a Snap gets in a given day (calculated using Pacific Time) as compared to the performance of other Snaps that day. Many Snapchatters will earn each day, and the ones who create the top Snaps within that group will earn the most for their creativity. We actively monitor for fraud to ensure that we only account for authentic engagement with Snaps. Our formula may be adjusted from time to time.
To appear on Spotlight, all Snaps must adhere to our Community Guidelines, which prohibit the spread of false information (including conspiracy theories), misleading content, hate speech, explicit or profane content, bullying, harassment, violence and much more. Additionally, Snaps submitted to Spotlight must also adhere to our Spotlight Guidelines, Terms of Service and Spotlight Terms.
Introducing our first CitizenSnap report
Editor’s note: Snap CEO Evan Spiegel sent the following memo to all Snap team members on 29 July.
Today we are releasing our first-ever CitizenSnap report, which explains the way we operate our business and support our team, our community, and our partners – as well as, more broadly, our society and environment. This report, which also details our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and related data, reflects our belief that it is in Snap’s best interest to contribute to creating a society that is healthy and an environment that is clean and safe, so that our business is able to reach its full potential. We want to profit as a byproduct of the success of our team, community and partners – not at their expense.
This means that we define our success in terms of our relationships and the way we treat our team, our community and our partners. We strive to build win-win-win partnerships where all parties benefit from shared success. Corporate citizenship is not an accessory to our business, it reflects the way we do business.
Our headquarters are in the United States, a country with a unique history of corporate personhood, with equal protection guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to its Constitution (ratified during Reconstruction following the Civil War). The US government and courts have made clear that businesses participate in society not simply as profit-maximising machines, but rather as fellow citizens – with accompanying rights and responsibilities. Our responsibilities extend beyond basic compliance with the laws of the countries where we operate to also include a commitment to making a positive difference.
In the US, we have learnt that we cannot move forward without acknowledging our past and recognising that we are here today at the expense of other people. The wealth of our nation was built on stolen land and stolen labour: enslaved people laid the economic foundation for our national prosperity, as did the forcible taking of expansive lands from indigenous people. Our headquarters in Los Angeles sits on land originally belonging to the Chumash and Tongva.
To understand that African American families hold roughly one-tenth the wealth of white American families on average is, necessarily, an indictment of our behaviour. As is the fact that Native Americans had a poverty rate in 2018 more than two-and-a-half times higher than that of white Americans. These facts do not reflect the values that we seek to realise.
It is clear that we have a choice: allow these inequities to be perpetuated in the United States – or do our part to better fulfill the shared values we seek to uphold as a society. It would be misleading to suggest that even our most strenuous efforts as a business are capable of creating broad societal change, given the massive and ongoing structural inequities and policies in the United States that invest unevenly in our citizens, but we will not stand idly by and do nothing. We cannot do it alone, but we will do our part.
We will use our voice, our corporate personhood, to advocate for the investments we must make in the future of our country – to alleviate poverty, provide educational opportunity, build the necessary digital infrastructure, and confront our history of injustice. These efforts begin inside our business, with the things that we can most directly impact, like our pay practices, hiring and inclusion schemes, tax strategy, supply chain and energy consumption. We want to ensure that all members of our team, our community and our partners feel understood and appreciated – celebrated – for who they are: each person equal in their differences.
Please consider our first CitizenSnap report a “rough draft”, an explanation of how we are going about these efforts and reflective of our desire to learn, grow and iterate. There is no doubt that today we fall short of our aspirations. We have an overwhelming amount of work to do, and our team feels strongly that it is important to hold ourselves accountable publicly. We believe that the greatest long-term limitation on the growth of Snap is the success of our broader society, and we will invest accordingly.
Snap Partner Summit: new ways for developers to build with Snapchat
Today we’re introducing new products powered by some of the best parts of Snapchat:
Camera Kit invites developers to bring Snapchat’s AR camera to their own apps. Soon on Squad, you’ll be able to add fun Snapchat lenses while you browse, chat, shop and watch videos together. With Triller’s Camera Kit integration, you’ll be able to create your own music videos with special Snapchat lenses.
Snap Minis are a new way for developers to bring their services inside Snapchat and empower new, social experiences. We’ve carefully designed Minis to deeply integrate within your conversations, so coordinating with friends is faster than ever.
Dynamic Lenses bring real-time information from your apps into Snapchat lenses. Beginning today, you can share a custom Lens on Snapchat to invite your friends to your virtual group gatherings on Houseparty.
With Bitmoji for Games, we’ve built the ultimate cross-platform avatar for gaming. On mobile, PC, console and beyond, Bitmoji for Games puts you and your friends right into the action.
Bitmoji Paint, from Snap Games Studio, brings together millions of players to simultaneously contribute to one global collage. An all-new infrastructure service will power this game, and soon, developers will be able to use these tools to build games for the Snap platform. We’re also introducing new games from partners including Mojiworks, Game Closure, Zynga and more!
If you’re a developer and interested in trying Snap Kit, you can learn more about it here.
We can’t wait to see what you will create!
Snap Partner Summit: Supporting Wellbeing
We have always been inspired by the power that real friendships have in supporting health and happiness. This is particularly true for our community. New research on Snapchatters’ experiences with mental health confirms what many studies have shown − that friends are the first people they turn to when dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and many other emotional challenges.
We believe Snapchat can play a unique role in empowering friends to help each other through these difficult moments. In March, we rolled out Here For You, a feature that provides Snapchatters with expert resources when they search for topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Today we are introducing additional features designed to further support Snapchatters and their friends through premium content and partnerships:
We are partnering with Headspace, a global leader in meditation and mindfulness, to offer their best-in-class content and resources directly in Snapchat. In the coming weeks, Headspace will offer guided mini-meditations and tools for helping our community check in on their friends.
We believe compelling content can help demystify and destigmatise mental illness, and earlier this year we launched a documentary series from Barcroft titled “Mind Yourself” that followed the mental health journeys of 10 young people. Today we’re announcing a new Snap Original debuting later this year. In “Coach Kev” from Laugh Out Loud, Kevin Hart, inspired by personal experiences, becomes a coach and mentor, sharing positivity and wisdom with anyone aspiring to live their best life.
We’re also making it easier for Snapchatters in crisis to access resources in our app. Our in-app reporting tools allow Snapchatters to alert us if they are worried their friends are at risk of self-harm and we notify that friend of the help available to them. We’re now significantly improving that experience by immediately showing Snapchatters how they can get connected with emergency services, message a trained counsellor through Crisis Text Line or talk live with someone at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
We look forward to building on these efforts and developing more ways to empower friends to help friends.
Snap Partner Summit 2020: New Snap Originals
Made-for-mobile shows began with Snap Originals. Today, we’re excited to reveal our new slate of shows made exclusively for Snapchat!
More than half of the US Gen Z population are watching Snap Originals. Part of what makes Snap Originals so unique is not just the way the stories are told, but the types of stories that reflect the wide range of passions, experiences and voices of our community.
And for the first time, Snapchatters can become part of the show!
We’re using our unique augmented reality technologies to deliver immersive shows that are only possible on Snapchat. You can now learn the latest dance moves from some of the world’s best dancers in “Move It”, which uses Snap’s custom motion tracking Lenses to keep up with your every step.
Check out the amazing new Shows that are headed your way:
Coach Kev - (Laugh Out Loud) - Inspired by his own experiences, Kevin Hart will be your coach, best friend and mentor all rolled into one, as he shares daily doses of positivity and wisdom for anyone aspiring to live their best life.
Fake Up - (Mission Control Media) - The top optical illusion make-up artists battle it out to transform their own faces into works of art you have to see to believe. Experience the artists’ work like never before as you try on and play with custom Lenses that bring the show’s illusions to life.
Move It - (Stellar Studios and Little Engine Productions) - Bringing together the biggest dance influencers, chart-topping hits, and Snapchat’s AR camera platform, this first-of-its-kind immersive dance show will inspire and teach anyone how to move it!
Road Trippin’ - (Bunim/Murray Productions) - In this docuseries executive produced by Anthony Anderson, best friends and star creators Rickey Thompson and Denzel Dion head on a road trip across rural USA to get out of their comfort zone and share some crazy new adventures.
First Person - (Hashtag Our Stories) - Stories told with Snapchat Spectacles through the eyes of extraordinary young innovators creating positive change, as they fight to protect our planet.
Queen of Stylez - (Glass Entertainment Group) - Capturing the attention of Hollywood’s biggest names and locking in the most coveted and demanding clients, no hairstylist slays quite like Tokyo Stylez.
Life By The Horns - (21st Street Creative) - Follow Ezekiel Mitchell, a 22-year-old destined to be a cowboy, on his life or death journey to become the best bull rider in the world and the first African-American to win the title in over 35 years.
Frogtown - (Alcon Television Group) - In this series directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen), a badass skater living in her car lands a second family when she falls in with an all-girl crew at the Frogtown skatepark in East Los Angeles.
Action Royale - (Portal A) - In this coming-of-age thriller, a teenager starts an underground esports gambling ring to pay off his father’s debts, but he and his gaming phenom best friend soon find themselves in over their heads in a dangerous high-stakes world.
Total Badass Wrestling - (Comedy Bang! Bang! Productions) - In this comedy, a naive but charismatic young wrestler becomes an overnight viral sensation, inspiring a washed-up pro wrestler to offer his mentorship and use the popular new kid as his ticket back into the spotlight.
In addition, we’ll be renewing the following Snap Originals: “Dead of Night” by Bazelevs in association with Hooked, “Face Forward” by NBCUniversal featuring an all-new AR Lens experience that puts viewers in the episode for their own celebrity makeover, “Nikita Unfiltered” by ITV America’s Sirens Media and Complex will again produce the next instalment of Snap’s documentary franchise “Vs The World”, which will tell the story of notorious MMA fighter Conor McGregor.
We can’t wait for you to see it!
Snap Partner Summit 2020: Happening Now
When something happens, the first screen Snapchatters turn to is the one in their hand. Over 125 million people watched news stories on Snapchat this year, and more than half of the US Gen Z population is watching news content on Discover.
We have always believed we have a responsibility to our community, which is why Snapchat remains a closed platform that works closely with a select set of partners to produce credible information in brand new ways for mobile.
We’re introducing Happening Now: the fastest way for Snapchatters to find out what’s going on in the world, up to the minute, at any time.
We’ve partnered with some of the most trusted news organisations, like The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters, NBC News, ESPN, NowThis, E! News, Daily Mail, BuzzFeed News and more, to turn updates on the biggest stories across politics, entertainment, sports and more into single Snaps, creating a new format designed for the fast and frequent way Snapchatters view breaking news on mobile.
You’ll even be able to get your daily horoscope and a personalised weather update featuring your Bitmoji!
Our editorial team will also be curating a selection of publicly shared Snaps captured by our community to showcase in Happening Now.
Starting today, Happening Now is available to everyone in the US, and we look forward to rolling it out in more markets around the world in the next year.
Cameras are evolving into fast, smart tools that can retrieve information and display content, and we believe that through our camera and augmented reality, we’re shaping the future of how we all experience the world around us.
Over 170 million Snapchatters engage with AR daily − nearly 30 times every day. Snapchatters are engaging with our AR experiences, called Lenses, with top-performing community Lenses reaching billions of views on Snapchat.
Today we announced new camera and augmented reality experiences for developers, creators and Snapchatters.
Lens Studio and SnapML
The foundation of our camera platform, Lens Studio, is a powerful, free desktop application designed for developers and artists to build and distribute AR on Snapchat. We’re updating Lens Studio with new, advanced features to push the boundaries of AR creation.
Today, we’re introducing SnapML, which lets any developer bring their own machine learning models directly into Lens Studio to power Lenses. Now, anyone can create their own Lenses with neural networks, expanding the possibilities for Lenses that can transform the world. We partnered with Wannaby, Prisma, CV2020 and Official Lens Creators on the first SnapML creations.
Local Lenses enable a persistent, shared AR world built right on top of your neighbourhood. You and your friends can step into augmented reality together to decorate nearby buildings with colourful paint and experience a new dimension of AR.
“Press and hold” on the camera screen to unlock relevant, helpful Lenses based on what you see in front of you.
Today, we’re announcing new Scan partners:
Snapchatters can identify 90% of all known plants and trees thanks to PlantSnap.
The Snapchat camera now recognises almost 400 breeds powered by Dog Scanner. It works on people too, so you can even figure out what type of dog you most resemble!
Soon, you will be able to Scan the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram to be transported to a virtual installation displaying their classic trunks and latest collection.
Later this year, Nutrition Scanner will give a rating on the quality of ingredients in many packaged foods when you Scan an item’s label thanks to Yuka.
Additionally, we’re introducing Voice Scan, which offers Lens results based on your voice commands. Powered by our partnership with SoundHound, press and hold to tell Snapchat what kind of Lens you want to see.
To create Lenses and experiment with these powerful new tools, visit lensstudio.snapchat.com to download and get started in Lens Studio.
Snap Partner Summit: Action Bar, Places, Topics and Story Replies
Today, we’re introducing a new way to navigate Snapchat as well as new features for the Snap Map and Stories, giving you more ways to find what you’re looking for and connect with the growing Snapchat community.
We’re making it easier to navigate Snapchat with our new Action Bar, which provides top-level navigation when you open the app. It’ll change contextually based on what you’re doing or watching.
Snap Map is a personal map that shows what your friends are up to, highlights perspectives from the Snapchat community and is used by 200 million Snapchatters every month.
We’re adding Places to the Snap Map so you can easily find the spots that are popular with our community, no matter where you are. We’re adding millions of listings for businesses around the world.
The Place Profile includes Snaps from the location, the address, hours of operation and reviews from TripAdvisor and Foursquare. Ordering food through Postmates, DoorDash and Uber Eats is just a tap away, starting soon in the US. Places are rolling out today on Android and iOS.
Today, Snapchatters share more than 3 million Snaps per day to Our Story. This makes Our Story one of the best ways to see what’s happening in the world through the eyes of the Snapchat community.
Now, there’s a new way to share the things you’re passionate about with Topics. Use a Topic sticker or submit your Snap to a Community Topic, like “Life Hacks” or “Oddly Satisfying” and browse Topic Pages to explore Snaps based on what you care about most.
We’ve rolled out Story Replies to make it easy to communicate with the Snap Stars you’re following. We filter out bullying and hate speech to make sure that Snap Stars feel the love from their fans. Snap Stars can turn Story Replies into stickers and add them to their Stories to power things like Q&A Sessions.
We Stand Together
Editor’s note: Snap CEO Evan Spiegel sent the following memo to all Snap team members on Sunday 31 May. In it he condemns racism while advocating for creating more opportunity and for living the American values of freedom, equality and justice for all.
As Lara shared last week, we had been planning on discussing the deaths of George, Ahmaud and Breonna tomorrow morning at Snap in Focus, but as I grappled with the long legacy of racial violence and injustice in America, it felt wrong to wait. Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and wrongdoing we are acting in support of evildoers. I am sorry for waiting to share my feelings with you.
I am heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of colour in America.
I was made aware of the struggle for freedom, equality and justice from a young age. My father served as the general counsel of the Christopher Commission (and, in a turn of fate, our general counsel Mike also worked on the commission), created to investigate racism and excessive force in the Los Angeles Police Department following the Rodney King beating here in Los Angeles in 1991. The commission found widespread racism and excessive use of force that had gone unchecked by leadership. The recommendations they made then, nearly 30 years ago, are still frighteningly relevant today.
Later in my life, I had the opportunity to work and study in South Africa where I had the privilege of meeting one of my heroes – Bishop Tutu. I witnessed the devastation of Apartheid and the legacy of racism, but also the tireless efforts towards progress and reconciliation. At Stanford, I lived in Ujamaa during my Senior year, a dorm on campus that is dedicated to the black community (and in which the majority of residents are black). Even amidst the tremendous privilege at Stanford, there was plenty to learn about the everyday injustices of racism in our society.
I share this not to suggest any first-hand understanding of the black lived experience in the United States but rather to explain that for nearly 30 years I have personally witnessed or participated in the passionate and persistent, well-reasoned and forceful appeal for justice in America and around the world. Thirty years later, despite a chorus of millions calling for change, there is little to show in the way of progress. Economic inequality in America has reached levels unseen for nearly a century, people of colour cannot visit a grocery store or go for a jog without fear of being murdered without consequence and, put simply, the American experiment is failing.
I share this because I understand that, in the words of MLK, “riots are the language of the unheard” and those that have been peacefully advocating for change for centuries have seen little, if any, progress towards the vision of freedom, equality and justice for all that America has long promised. I understand why those who are rioting have felt unheard.
At the first speech I was invited to give after we created Snapchat, delivered at the Stanford Women in Business Conference in 2013, I declared that “I am a young, white, educated male. I got really, really lucky. And life isn’t fair.” I felt it was deeply important to name my privilege and acknowledge injustice in our society – especially in front of women business leaders who cope with these injustices daily. Acknowledging my privilege was an important first step for me because it helped me to listen. My experiences as a wealthy, white male are categorically different than the injustices experienced by our fellow Americans. Understanding the plight of those who are different than me has helped me become a better ally in the struggle.
The fundamental idea behind the creation of our country was the notion that the circumstances of your birth did not preordain the trajectory of your life. Our founders thought the idea that God chose one king was ridiculous – God chose all of us and loves all of us equally. They desired to build a society that reflected the love of God and the idea that God dwells in all of us. God doesn’t believe that any of us are more or less deserving of love.
Of course, the same Founding Fathers who espoused the values of freedom, equality and justice for all – were predominantly slave owners. Their powerful vision of a nation created by the people, for the people was built on a foundation of prejudice, injustice and racism. Without addressing this rotten foundation and its ongoing failures to create opportunity for all, we are holding ourselves back from realising our true capacity for human progress – and we will continue to fall short of the bold vision of freedom, equality and justice for all.
Often I am asked by friends, team members, journalists and partners what we can do to make a difference. Recognising that I am in no way an expert and that at the ripe old age of 29 I have much to learn about the workings of the world, below I will share my own perspective on what is needed to create the change we crave in America. We cannot end systemic racism without simultaneously creating opportunity for all people, regardless of their background.
First, it is important to understand that, from my perspective, much of modern day America has been defined by the “big idea” put forth by President Reagan and others that businesses should be the engines for progress and the government should largely get out of the way. Indeed, tax cuts and deregulation helped the American economy grow and the federal government has shifted the percentage of its spending from future-oriented endeavours like R&D to entitlements like Social Security. Of course, government R&D is a long-term investment, but it is one with considerable nearer-term benefits: it has helped create the foundation for many of the components in modern-day smartphones which led to the growth and success of businesses like ours. Here is the rough (and imperfect) maths on the Federal Budget – while we can debate where each line item belongs, the approximations reveal a substantial skew towards the past and present at the expense of the future:
It is no secret that our country has put businesses first. We at Snap have been tremendous beneficiaries of these policies, but I believe now it is time to put the American people first.
I believe the first and most important step is to reaffirm our commitment to our founding values as a nation: freedom, equality, justice, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We must work together to create a shared vision for future success and define what we want America to look like for our children’s children. This must be a process that involves all Americans and is “by the people, for the people.” If we can define the nation we wish to become, we can begin to take action and apply our values to the vital decisions that must be made in order to make our shared vision a reality.
We will also have to begin defining our success in terms of the fulfilment of our values, rather than silly short-term metrics like GDP or the stock market. When your healthcare costs increase, regardless of the value you receive, GDP increases. If a hurricane hits and knocks down tons of houses so that we have to rebuild them, GDP increases. GDP is a fundamentally broken metric that does not reflect what contributes to real human happiness. The pursuit of happiness must expand beyond the pursuit of wealth.
We should establish a diverse, non-partisan Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations. We must begin a process to ensure that America’s black community is heard throughout the country, investigate the criminal justice system for bias and prejudice, strengthen the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and take action on recommendations for reconciliation and reparations made by the Commission. There is plenty to learn from those who have had the courage to undertake a similar process following atrocities around the world, and we should create a process that reflects American values and helps our nation to make the necessary change and heal.
We must restart the “Opportunity Engine” in America by investing in education, healthcare and housing to make these basic ingredients of a free and fair society more accessible and affordable for all people.
I believe that one reason entrepreneurship in America has declined so substantially since the 1980s is the lack of a sufficient societal safety net. Entrepreneurship depends on people being able to take risks to start a business, which is nearly impossible to do without some sort of safety net like the one I had. Today’s would-be entrepreneurs are saddled with student debt and are subject to stagnant wage growth and rising expenses that make it hard to save the seed capital necessary to start a business.
Investing in the future of our country to benefit our children’s children will be expensive. We will need to institute a more progressive income tax system and a substantially higher estate tax, and we will need businesses to pay a higher tax rate. While we are investing in the future, we will also have to reduce the federal deficit so that we are better prepared to meet any external shocks that may come in the future in our rapidly changing world. In short, people like me will pay a lot more in taxes – and I believe it will be worth it to create a society that benefits all of us.
Many of these changes could be “bad” for business in the short term, but because they represent long-term investments in the people of our nation, I believe that we will collectively reap tremendous long-term benefits.
Why hasn’t this change happened yet? I’d argue it’s simply because the Boomer supermajority across all branches of our government has demonstrated little interest in creating a better future for their children. For decades our government has committed to a strategy of debt-financed tax cuts and entitlement spending to enrich their most important constituents: the Boomers. Indeed, Boomers hold nearly 60% of all household wealth in America. To put it in context, billionaires hold about 3%. With Social Security, for example, we finance a programme that pays out benefits across the wealthiest generation in American history without any form of means-testing.
Some research has shown that when an older generation does not see themselves reflected in the younger generation, they are less willing to invest in their future. In America, the Boomer generation is about 70% white and Gen Z is about 50% white. America’s demographic change is inevitable. The question, therefore, is whether or not we can work together to create a nation that better reflects our founding values, heals the deep wounds of our past, strives to eliminate racism and injustice and creates opportunity for all – no matter who they are or where they were born.
As for Snapchat, 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. 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.
It is never too late to turn towards love and it is my sincere and earnest hope that the leadership of our great country will work towards our founding values, our raison d’être: freedom, equality and justice for all.
Until that day, we will make it clear with our actions that there is no grey area when it comes to racism, violence and injustice – and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform.
This does not mean that we will remove content that people disagree with or accounts that are insensitive to some people. There are plenty of debates to be had about the future of our country and the world. But there is simply no room for debate in our country about the value of human life and the importance of a constant struggle for freedom, equality and justice. We are standing with all those who stand for peace, love and justice and we will use our platform to promote good rather than evil.
I know there are many people who feel that just because “some people” are racist or just because there is “some injustice” in our society that we are “not all bad”. It is my view that humanity is deeply interconnected and that when one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us is hungry, we are all hungry. And when one of us is poor, we are all poor. When any one of us enables injustice through our silence we have all failed to create a nation that strives for its highest ideals.
Some of you have asked about whether Snap will contribute to organisations that support equality and justice. The answer is yes. But in my experience, philanthropy is simply unable to make more than a dent in the grave injustices we face. While our family has and will continue to contribute meaningfully to create opportunity for the underprivileged and donate to the guardians of justice, these circumstances call for a more radical reorganisation of our society. Private philanthropy can patch holes or accelerate progress, but it alone cannot cross the deep and wide chasm of injustice. We must cross that chasm together as a united nation. United in the striving for freedom, equality and justice for all.
We have a great many challenges in front of us. To confront the long legacy of violence and injustice in America – of which George, Ahmaud and Breonna are the latest victims, with so many more unnamed – we must embrace profound change. Not merely a change in our country, but a change in our hearts. We must carry the light of peace and share the embrace of love with all humankind.