A comment allegedly made by Snap Inc.’s chief executive two years ago has caused a massive uproar in India, with many Indian Snapchat users deciding to delete the app in protest.
“This app is only for rich people,” CEO Evan Spiegel allegedly said in 2015 according to a former employee as part of a recent lawsuit. “I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”
The statement, which Spiegel allegedly said during a discussion on Snapchat’s plans to grow overseas, emerged after former employee Anthony Pompliano filed a case against the company for manipulating its user metrics.
Details of the lawsuit were only made available to the public earlier this week after Snap Inc. dropped its efforts to keep the unredacted complaint under seal, reports Variety.
“Snap did not give investors misstated user metrics back in 2015; nor did Snap employees commit any of the panoply of alleged bad acts that litter Pompliano’s complaint,” Snap wrote in the notice. “Snap will demonstrate as much at the appropriate time in the appropriate forum.”
Snap Inc. hired Pompliano to oversee Snapchat’s international expansion but when he presented his ideas for overseas growth, Spiegel allegedly dismissed “poor countries.” Snap Inc. has alleged that Pompliano is merely a disgruntled ex-employee who was fired in three weeks.
Since learning about the comment, insulted Indian Snapchat users have been deleting the app, according to Mashable. The hashtag #UninstallSnapchat has become a trending topic on Twitter India, with the netizens posting why they chose to boycott the company.
— shikhar bhardwaj (@shikhar1810) April 16, 2017
— #PRDMovieReviews (@Prtk_Live) April 16, 2017
— Deepa Nagaonkar (@nagaonkardeepa) April 16, 2017
— Parul Sharma (@TheParulSharma) April 16, 2017
— Sujay Agnihotri (@sujay_agnihotri) April 16, 2017
Installed Snapchat only to uninstall it to prove my Indianess #uninstallsnapchat
— Saikiran (@Saikiran_jalsa) April 16, 2017
The popular app’s rating also dropped from “five stars” to just a “single star” on the App Store based on 6,099 ratings on the current version of the app. It is also now down to just “one and a half star” based on 9,527 ratings on all versions as of Sunday morning.