Snapchat Fi­asco: When Pa­tri­o­tism Sees No Rea­son

When Pa­tri­o­tism Sees No Rea­son

Libertatem Magazine - - Front Page - By Shresth Var­dan

In­dia is re­spon­si­ble for a round­about 200m Face­book users and a fair about 4m Snapchat users which can by no means be con­strued to be taken as an in­signif­i­cant num­ber. Hav­ing been said that, Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snapchat feels that In­dia is too poor a coun­try to even think about ex­pand­ing his busi­ness into. Ob­vi­ously, such a state­ment would not go unat­tended or un­wel­comed by the In­dian set of on­look­ers. There is a lot more and deep to this snapchat story than what we have been read­ing about in the head­lines. Or should rather say, de­pend­ing upon how you look onto it.

Hail­ing over the con­tro­versy that a few days back glim­mered on the in­ter­net mark­ing Evan Spiegel’s trite com­ment that of call­ing In­dia a “poor coun­try”, a lot many peo­ple, ran en­thu­si­as­ti­cally high on pa­tri­otic fer­vor and sub­se­quently de­cided to show their re­sent­ment by ig­nit­ing rants and by storm­ing the in­ter­net with hashtags on twit­ter such as #Unin­stall­snapchat and #Boy­cottsnapchat.

This so­cial net­work­ing anger and the wrath every­where through­out the week sprang from the re­marks Spiegel is al­leged to have made. As re­ported by Va­ri­, an ex-rep­re­sen­ta­tive An­thony Pom­pli­ano amid a pri­vate meet­ing in the year 2015 brought to the no­tice of Evan, snapchat’s dull per­for­mance and ex­e­cu­tion in Spain and In­dia by as­sert­ing that the ap­pli­ca­tion was not get­ting the de­sired re­sults and is not tak­ing off well overseas. He fur­ther rec­om­mended how Snapchat ought to con­sider the deep-rooted mo­bile and in­ter­net based web of peo­ple in In­dia so as to cat­alyze growth. The sug­ges­tion seemed un­ap­peal­ing to the then 25 years old lad and so he was cut half­way by the CEO.

The al­legedly tagged elit­ist state­ment by Evan saw the light of the day when Pom­pli­ano’s claim against the gross ne­glect and in­cor­rect por­trayal of num­bers by the com­pany was put on show to the pub­lic by the way of re­leas­ing a copy of the suit on­line.

The truth be said. We In­di­ans love to ex­press our out­rage against any­thing that dis­turbs our façade of pa­tri­o­tism by re­sort­ing to a nu­mer­ous of very in­flu­enc­ing ac­tiv­i­ties like bring­ing down the rat­ings of an ap­pli­ca­tion on Google Play Store and by unin­stalling the ap­pli­ca­tions. It is to be noted that this isn’t the first in­stance when the coun­try has wit­nessed such a slack­tivism. His­tory is in it­self able to tes­tify that Snapdeal ear­lier had to bear the heft of a sim­i­lar fury. Flip­kart is an­other brand that was forced to bear such a shock, to the point that brought about a drop in its rat­ing to a 1 star af­ter it was viewed as go­ing op­posed to the idea of net neu­tral­ity for which Air­tel was at that point al­ready suf­fer­ing.

Af­fected by the on­go­ing del­uge of re­sent­ment, the par­ent com­pany Snap Inc. stepped out and tagged Pom­pli­ano as a “dis­grun­tled em­ployee fired for poor per­for­mance who filed the law­suit out of thirst for pub­lic­ity.”

While they came to the res­cue and out rightly de­nied any such re­mark by Spiegel, the re­ac­tions did not cease. A storm of Face­book and Twit­ter posts and 1 star rat­ings on Play Store and Ap­ple’s App Store high­light nu­mer­ous peo­ple voic­ing out their re­sent­ment.

The most cru­cial tan­gent that is still ig­nored by many is that there is no di­rect state­ment made by Evans. He never made the al­leged state­ment that In­dia is a poor na­tion. All of this is a boiled-up stock of the broth that started to cook in a doc­u­ment of suit filed by a dis­pleased em­ployee. This most re­cent shock could be re­ally un­fair to the com­pany and have se­ri­ous set­backs.

I am like­wise un­able to fig­ure out why we In­di­ans feel so out­raged about a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion that doesn’t con­sider In­dia as a good or prof­itable mar­ket? How can in any stretch of imag­i­na­tion a CEO’S as­serted re­mark/ state­ment shake the pil­lars of our pride? I haven’t seen Span­ish in­di­vid­u­als flood­ing the on­line net­work­ing (Face­book or Twit­ter) with bol­sters about highlighting their dis­sat­is­fac­tion in this re­gard. Is it ac­cu­rate to say that they are of­fend­ing and unin­stalling Snapchat?

As a re­sult of such acts of the peo­ple from time to time, I am sorry to say but trag­i­cally In­dia is gain­ing a no­to­ri­ous kind of a rep­u­ta­tion on the web. The rep­u­ta­tion thus gained is that In­di­ans are eas­ily pro­voked or trig­gered. Say some cock­eyed words in re­gards to In­dia on the in­ter­net and In­di­ans will get ac­ti­vated. This has gone up to the ex­tent that they are so blind­folded by their rage that other ap­pli­ca­tions with sim­i­lar pho­net­ics get ham­mered. Snapdeal, un­for­tu­nately, was mistaken for Snapchat and fell prey to the on­go­ing ire.

So ludicrous are the In­di­ans over this in­fa­mous state­ment made by the CEO, that they are sub­ject­ing Snapdeal to the fate of unin­stal­la­tions and poor rat­ings on the Play store as well as the app store. I am sure the word “Snap” is caus­ing a great dis­tress to Snapdeal.

Is this some sort of a de­lib­er­ate numb­ness on the part of the peo­ple or is it that they are un­able to chalk out the dis­tinc­tion be­tween the two? Dread­ing over a com­ment that a CEO per­haps made in a pri­vate meet­ing while dis­cussing about his busi­ness plans and strat­egy, demon­strates that there is some kind of a se­ri­ous is­sue with the peo­ple of the coun­try.

I think that it’s dif­fi­cult for me as a ci­ti­zen of this na­tion to gulp that In­dia as a coun­try has such low self-re­gard that we are so eas­ily pro­voked by a com­ment, and then go set up to brawl. I am cer­tain that his­tory would re­peat it­self and like pre­vi­ous in­stances, the present blow against Snapchat will have no dependable ef­fect and will be tem­po­rary. Ev­ery­body nowa­days is too ef­fort­lessly af­fronted and pro­voked and the Snapchat de­ba­cle demon­strates that this cer­tainly is true.


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