Snapchat apologized for releasing an ad that made fun of Rihanna and Chris Brown’s domestic abuse incident in 2009. In the ad, Snapchat asked users if they would rather “slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.”
Snapchat admitted in the apology that the ad was an error by the company.
Users on Twitter began noticing that an ad on Snapchat was using the domestic abuse incident between Rihanna and Chris Brown to comedic effect. In the ad, users are asked if they would rather hit Rihanna or Chris Brown. This prompted users to call Snapchat tone deaf, awful, and disgusting.
This is in reference to the 2009 incident where Chris Brown was convicted of assaulting Rihanna. He was sentenced to five years of probation, six months of community service, and one year of domestic violence counseling.
Snapchat has advertising policies that are supposed to prevent this type of situation from happening. Through its own process, all ads must be reviewed and approved by the company before they are used.
In its advertising policy, Snapchat says that it doesn’t allow ads that demean, degrade, or show hate towards particular races, genders, cultures, nationalities, beliefs, or towards people of protected classes.
Included in the policy is also a provision that allows Snapchat to request that ads be modified before they’re approved. In its list of banned content, it includes shocking, sensational, or disrespectful content.
After receiving heavy backlash from most people who have seen the ad, Snapchat began issuing statements apologizing for using the ad. Snapchat says it’s sorry for what happened, but isn’t clear about what led it to approve the ad in the first place.
In the apology, Snapchat notes that the ad was reviewed and approved in error. Along with the error, Snapchat says that this ad violates its own advertising guidelines. Despite approving the ad, it says that the ad was removed last weekend when it became aware of it.
Snapchat continues its negative slide despite being able to bounce back after losing $1.3 billion in value. After large gains to show that it wasn’t done yet, Snapchat announced that it had laid-off over 120 engineers.
Kylie Jenner also weighed in on Snapchat’s future by declaring it over after its redesign, which users hated for changing the way it worked. Snapchat also used a racist gif from Giphy, and it was later removed from Giphy.
What may save the company is the age of its user base which is younger than other social media websites.