Snapchat has largely escaped scrutiny about fake news and election interference because its content quickly disappears and its publisher hub, Discover, is a closed platform. But now the Infowars mess that’s plagued Facebook and YouTube has landed at Snap’s feet, as conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has begun tweeting to promote an augmented reality Snapchat Lens built by someone in his community that puts a piece of masking tape with the word “censorship” written over it across the mouth of the user with a “Free Infowars” logo in the screen’s corner. He’s also encouraging his followers to follow Infowars’ official Snapchat page.
The situation highlights the whack-a-mole game of trying to police the fragmented social media space. There always seems to be another platform for those kicked off others for inciting violence, harassing people or otherwise breaking the rules. A cross-industry committee that helps coordinate enforcement might be necessary to ensure that as someone is booted from one platform, their presence elsewhere is swiftly reviewed and monitored for similar offenses.
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