"I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain."
Indian hackers claimed they have leaked details of 1.7 million Snapchat users.
Reportedly, the leak acted as a response to comments made by Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, where he supposedly described India as a poor country.
The Indian hackers claim that they gained access to the large database in 2016. However, after Evan Spiegel’s reported remarks, they have leaked the database to the deep web due to the CEO’s “arrogance.”
They have also threatened to carry out further attacks until the CEO apologises. Meanwhile, Snapchat hasn’t acknowledged the leak, leaving many people feeling cynical.
The controversy began after Variety magazine published a recount of an ex-employees experience of working at Snapchat. He claimed that during a meeting about the app’s growth, Evan Spiegel said: “This app is only for rich people.”
He also supposedly added: “I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”
The comment understandably received a wave of backlash from people across India.
Both Snapchat users and non-users took to the Apple Store to drag its rating down and left bad reviews. On Twitter, many have launched campaigns to encourage people to boycott the app.
These campaigns include #UninstallSnapchat and #BoycottSnapchat.
However, Evan Spiegel has denied making the comments, as a spokesperson said:
“Those words were written by a disgruntled former employee. We are grateful for our Snapchat community in India and around the world.”
But, this denial hasn’t deterred the Indian hackers from their supposed data leak. Yet, as Snapchat made no comment to the hack, it has led many to question it.
Fortune conducted an investigation into the claims to see if they held any substance. But, they concluded that the data leak was actually an old database, already online. Others also came to the same conclusion.
Rojan Rijal said on his blog: “Snapchat was not exactly hacked and the hackers just pasted an old data that was published online.”
Regardless of whether the hack did indeed happen or not, the backlash has potentially damaged Snapchat’s reputation in India.
It’s unclear yet though whether Evan Spiegel will speak himself and settle the matter once and for all.