Snapchat Responds After Running 'Disgusting' Slap Rihanna Ad on App
"We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake."
Snapchat has responded to scathing criticisms lobbed at the social media service after an ad making light of domestic violence was discovered on the app last week.
“This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service,” a Snapchat spokesperson tells Inverse. “We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process.”
All advertisements that appear on Snapchat must conform to its advertising policies, which explicitly prohibit content deemed “shocking, sensational, or disrespectful.” And yet the ad, which reportedly asked Snapchat users if they would rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown, slipped through the cracks. The advertising party is a mobile video game called Would You Rather that purports to pose “impossible choices,” and it has since been banned from advertising on Snapchat.
“We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again,” the spokesperson said.
Still, some think Snapchat’s apology didn’t go far enough. Rihanna went off on Snapchat in an Instagram post on Thursday, accusing the app of intentionally making a joke about domestic violence.
“All the women, children and men that have been victims of [domestic violence] in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet… you let us down!” Rihanna said.
The offensive ad is just the latest in a string of gaffs for the social media giant. Last week, Snapchat pulled GIF support from the app after some users noticed a racist GIF affixed to a snap, and the messaging service has faced a steady stream of criticism since redesigning the entire app in early February.
Rihanna’s condemnation is also the second high-profile celebrity critique in the past month. So-called “Queen of Snapchat” Kylie Jenner criticized the app on Twitter in late February, leading many to wrongly speculate that celebrity attrition was causing Snap Inc. stock to lose value.
It’s possible that the ad controversy will push more people away from Snapchat, and Rihanna appears to be all for it.
“Shame on you,” she said. “Throw the whole app-oligy away.”