Controversies

Oh, Snap -- Evan Spiegel 'Mortified' by Vulgar Frat Emails

Former Staff Writer
3 min read

If only Snapchat had been around during Evan Spiegel’s hard-partying, trash-talking tenure as a fraternity brother at Stanford. Then, the Kappa Sigma’s sleazy missives to frat brothers might have vanished into thin ether rather than rematerialize all these years later to haunt him.

The vulgar and chauvinistic exchanges occurred a few years back in 2010 when Spiegel was yet to be co-founder of Snapchat and was instead a fraternity member, exhibiting the testosterone-charged insolence of bro culture that one might expect of pledge classes across the nation.

“THE TRAIN TO RAGEDOM DIDN’T STOP FOR ANYTHING/ANYONE,” wrote Spiegel, in one of his tamer moments. “Can’t wait to see everyone on the blackout express soon.”

Related: Lessons from Paula Deen: How What You Say Can Damage Your Brand

In another email, Spiegel has a "shopping list," which includes alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. The more sexually explicit messages, in which Spiegel describes urinating on a girl’s back and inviting underage classmates to drink at his parent’s house, can be viewed in full on Valleywag.

Those familiar with the Snapchat founder’s bravado -- which is frequently perceived as childish arrogance -- probably aren’t surprised. After brazenly turning down a $3 billion acquisition offer by Facebook, Spiegel also neglected to apologize when Snapchat was hacked last New Year’s Day. 

One particularly telling childhood anecdote describes Spiegel as being so angry with his parents that he cut himself out of all their family photos.

Related: Facebook Reportedly Developing Its Own Snapchat -- Again

Nevertheless, he mustered up an apology yesterday, stating, “I’m obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic emails during my fraternity days were made public…They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.”

Unfortunately for Spiegel, the Internet never forgets -- except, perhaps, in the EU, where a top court recently ruled that some people have a “right to be forgotten.”

But who among us doesn’t have secrets to bear? Who among us hasn’t made questionable remarks in the company of family or friends? While this should serve as no excuse for Spiegel’s behavior, it demonstrates -- as does Snapchat’s founding values -- that it has become virtually impossible, in the age of the Internet, to make the missteps of our past ever fully disappear.

Related: How A&E Ducked the Duck Dynasty Controversy

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