For people who expected Snap to be the next Facebook, its stumbles appear disastrous. But while Snap hasn’t figured out how to be a profitable advertising business, it’s proving to be a much more competent media company than either Facebook or Google—and not just because it knows from dancing meats.
Since September, Facebook and Google have acknowledged selling political ad space to Kremlin-affiliated groups that spread false stories about the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While company representatives prepare to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees on Nov. 1, Robert Mueller, special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, is reviewing the ad buys for evidence that Russian agents colluded with the Trump campaign. There are signs of Russian activity on almost every American social network of any consequence, including Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even the smartphone video game Pokémon Go. (Bloomberg LP is developing news programming for the Twitter service.) Snapchat, however, has found no evidence of political ad buys by anyone in Russia. In fact, Snapchat appears to have no fake news at all.