“India is a poor country.”
These words became viral over the weekend and resulted in an outpouring of anger and appeals to nationalism that swept up, seemingly, the whole internet.
A Snapchat employee alleged in a news blog that Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, made a comment in bad taste regarding India when he was told about the app’s slow growth in Indian market. According to the employee, Spiegel said that India was a poor country and his app was only for the rich.
This comment infuriated Indians and led to an organized online protest which culminated in hashtags, petitions, the Snapchat app being uninstalled enmasse and brigaded with thousands (if not millions) of 1-Star rating at the Play Store and the Apple App Store.
In fact, Snapchat has an average 1-star rating on Apple’s local app store right now.
— Sir Bumraaah! (@Ibleed_sarcasm) April 15, 2017
So Acc to Snapchat CEO My India ?? is a Poor Country. Now Mr Evan Spiegel You will turn into Millionaire from Billionaire #uninstallsnapchat
— Anmol Katiyar ?? (@Anmol_77) April 15, 2017
Okay I’m offended by ‘India is a poor country!’ by Snapchat’s CEO. Now I’ll take pictures from Snapchat & upload on my Instagram story.
— Reva ? (@BrushUrTeeth_03) April 15, 2017
Snapchat refuted the statement and revealed that the employee who made the allegation, Anthony Pompliano, was fired three weeks prior due to poor performance and is also involved in an active lawsuit with the company. “This is ridiculous. Obviously Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free,” said a Snapchat spokesperson.
But, as always, Indians reacted immediately without even considering the name. Unfortunately for an Indian e-commerce store, Snapdeal, it’s name similarity with Snapchat meant it had to face the brunt of the ‘protest’ alongside it.
Indians couldn’t differentiate between Snapchat and Snapdeal, and left 1-star reviews for Snapdeal and calling out its CEO for shaming their country.
— Virat Kohli (@TedhiBaat_) April 16, 2017
— Reddit India (@redditindia) April 16, 2017
— Rofl Gandhi (@RoflGandhi_) April 16, 2017
— Madhu Menon (@madmanweb) April 16, 2017
This isn’t the first time Snapdeal has suffered the wrath of Indian netizens. In 2015, when the company’s brand ambassador, Aamir Khan, said that he felt India was no longer secure and he wanted to leave the country, Indians organized a massive online protest against Snapdeal even though the company had no relation to the actor’s comments. After investing millions of dollars in the Indian market, the online retailer must be shocked as to why it keeps getting bashed whenever Indians feel insecure.
All is not lost though. While most Indians have been taking out their anger on Snapchat and the unfortunate Snapdeal, some have tried to talk some sense into their fellow countrymen explaining that even if the comment was true, it wasn’t from Snapdeal’s poor CEO.
— Virender Sehwag (@VirenderSehweg) April 16, 2017
What. A. Nation. pic.twitter.com/60i3xfEAb1
— عادل (@aurAdil) April 16, 2017
Boycotting Snapdeal instead of Snapchat is the equivalent of slapping Arbaaz Khan because you’re angry with Roger Federer.
— Sahil Shah (@SahilBulla) April 16, 2017
Snapdeal always suffers, first because of aamir khan and now this Snapchat. I feel pity for them ??
— Anoop (@BeerChilled) April 16, 2017
There is lot of difference between snapdeal and snapchat…..
wake up guys pic.twitter.com/yOzIlzVyOZ
— ashok randy ? (@itsashrandy) April 16, 2017
Image Source: The News Minute