Snap Inc. brushes off allegations that Snapchat CEO dismissed India as a "poor" country

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel allegedly dismissed India and Spain as regions for expansion as they were too "poor". Snap Inc. has rubbished the allegations

Snap Inc., the company that operates the popular Snapchat app has come under heavy fire recently after it was alleged that its CEO Evan Spiegel discarded India as an area for expansion because it was ‘poor’. Social media is ablaze with articles criticising the statement and memes mocking the statement. There's even a #boycottsnapchat tag gaining momentum on Twitter at the time of writing.

One thing to note here is that Spiegel is alleged to have made this statement at a meeting in 2015. The only reason it got out was because Snap decided to drop "efforts to keep the unredacted complaint under seal," reports Variety. According to Variety's report, this statement was part of a lawsuit that Anthony Pompliano, an ex-Snap employee filed against the company. The statement was filed in a redacted form in January in the L.A Superior Court. Snap Inc. claimed that it has nothing to hide, especially since it's a publicly traded company.

Snapchat unredacted lawsuit by gmaddaus on Scribd

According to allegations in the lawsuit, Pompliano met the senior management at Snap in 2015 and expressed his concerns at how critical data like the number of new users registering, number of daily active users (DAU) and number of total users was inaccurate. He detailed that the company relied on two inaccurate metrics under programs ‘Flurry’ and ‘Blizzard’. The former took into account push notifications, resulting in higher numbers and the latter program ignored older users, undercounting the user base.

Other metrics like rate of growth and the users retained after a week, etc. were inaccurate and inflated, alleges Pompliano. He made a PowerPoint presentation to detail these inaccuracies in two meetings but neither of them went well and he was fired from the company. All his claims were allegedly discarded and cross-questioned by pointing out that the points made in the presentations didn’t matter.

In the first meeting Pompliano alleges that he pointed out that Snapchat was not gaining enough traction and growth in terms of users in India and Spain, to which Spiegel apparently made remarks that Snapchat was for rich people and that he wasn't interested in "poor countries". The CEO then allegedly ‘stormed out’ of the meeting. The report further suggests that John Pierce, the attorney representing Pompliano pointed out that Snap gave up on efforts to keep the statements redacted because it was certain that it would lose the case. Snap Inc. has filed for a motion to force the case into arbitration, which really means that the company wants to settle the case using an arbitrator rather than have it go to court.

Snap Inc. responded saying, ‘This is ridiculous. Obviously Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free,’ as reported by Hindustan Times. In a recently disclosed court document, the company also refutes the claims that it misstated user metrics.

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