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Snapchat CEO's Emails Didn't Disappear, Come Back To Shame Him

We are in the midst of a realignment in the global economy, a new machine age in which technology is disrupting nearly every industry in the world. And who are the hot young stars of this great realignment? People like 23-year-old Evan Spiegel, the Stanford-educated, former Kappa Sigma social chair who founded Snapchat, an ephemeral messaging platform that may be worth at least $3 billion.

Gawker's ValleyWag obtained emails (Note: racy language) from Spiegel's fraternity days circa 2009, a not-so-distant past in which his primary emphasis seemed to be getting sorority girls drunk so they would sleep with him and his fraternity brothers. Women are referred to as "bitches" and "sororisluts," considered objects to be "peed on," and one missive features "shooting lasers at fat chicks."

In between trying to hire people for the company that would become Snapchat, his emails further show he makes fun of competing fraternity members by calling them "gay."

Contacted today by Business Insider, Spiegel verified the emails and said this:

"I'm obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic emails during my fraternity days were made public. I have no excuse. I'm sorry I wrote them at the time and I was jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women."

So what we're seeing now is a situation that the central conceit of Snapchat sought to destroy: Your past messages coming back to haunt you, in a very public way.

We've written about a pervasive cultural problem in technology that seems to reward these young, reckless guys with fame and fortune. That the tech world continues to celebrate young men whose disposition toward women is, at best, sleazy, doesn't bode well for its well-documented sexism problem.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.
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