Snapchat’s Trying Out Editor-in-Chief
A slippery slope, indeed
So this week, it was reported that Snapchat will be taking a harder line on misleading and explicit images regarding content within its Discover section.
In short, Snapchat is putting new guidelines in place for its Discover partners and advising which is grounds for publishing amid uproar over fake-news and a potential IPO.
However, while the move is noble and especially timely, I think what can manifest is a slippery-slope.
Although Snapchat is interested in cleaning up its content to some degree appeasing advertisers, significantly altering editorial direction can eventually have severe consequences.
Snapchat will have a fine line to walk if they continue to (explicitly) specify their content guidelines. There’s a balance between entertaining both users and advertisers.
Wearing the Editor-in-Cheif’s cap comes with grave responsibilities, which in extreme cases can boarder content/news censorship. Does Snapchat want to be in the position of determining what is published and not published on its platform entirely?
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been stuck in this role for years now and are still figuring out how to act. That said, without pre-established editorial tendencies on these platforms, we’ve come to witness the effects just recently with recent uproar.
Snapchat is taking the road that Facebook and Twitter didn’t early on, which is to curtail specific content. In the short-term, Snapchat’s decision has both advertisers and users’ best interests in mind. However, in the long term, it’s just advertisers’.
Come to think of it, imagine if every Facebook post or Tweet (organic, not ad-related) had to first go through someone at the platform pre publishing?In my opinion, this is what I believe Snapchat is attempting.
As a gate-keeper to content, Snapchat is beginning to manufacture a bottle-neck before its audience. If it plans to include additional Discover partners in the future, all should be wary.