SAN FRANCISCO - Alleged comments made by Snapchat's CEO has many calling for a boycott of the messaging app. The Venice-based company denies CEO Evan Spiegel ever made disparaging remarks that have offended the Indian community.
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Despite whether the CEO actually true, Snapchat is facing a lot of backlash and it's affecting everything from its app rating to its stock price.
The hashtag, "BoycottSnapchat" seems to have gained traction. Many are deleting the Snapchat from their phones and giving the messaging app negative reviews.
Snapchat's shares also fell one-and-a-half percent Monday to close at its lowest level in nearly a month -- all because of allegations made by former employee Anthony Pompliano.
He only worked at Snapchat for three weeks but claims CEO Evan Spiegel said, "This app is only for rich people. I don't want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain."
Snapchat denies Spiegel ever made those remarks but word has quickly spread in the Indian community.
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"The background is colonial mindset of treating Indians in a different way," said Mani Kerran of the local chapter of the Hindu American Foundation.
He says Spiegel should be given the benefit of the doubt, but if the allegations are true he says the remarks are offensive and ignorant.
"We have a few hundred million in middle class and are very tech savvy and the market is growing," Kerran added. "Every company from Facebook to Apple to Microsoft, they are trying to expand in India."
As to whether allegations will hurt Snapchat in the long term, tech analyst Larry Magid doesn't think so.
"I can think of Uber for example where the CEO has gotten himself into trouble and the company still seems to do okay," said Magid. "So even if there is a boycott, I'm sure Snapchat will survive it because a lot of people really love to use the service."
For now, the allegations are a bump in the road for one of tech's hottest companies.
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