Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms among teens and young adults.
It allows users to send and share photos that will be deleted after viewing them, or they can be seen by followers for up to the 24 hours.
The app recently went through design changes that caused many of its users to not use it as much, but it is still very popular. However, the social media platform lost over $800 million after an offensive ad that put a spotlight on domestic violence, specifically targeting singers Rihanna and Chris Brown.
The ad was created by a third party, in which it modeled itself after the game “Would You Rather?” One of the would-you-rather questions asked if the player would prefer to “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown.” The app was then called out by Rihanna who found the game extremely offensive.
“You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!” Rihanna posted on her Instagram story on Thursday. “This isn't about my personal feelings, cause I don't have much of them ... but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven't made it out yet ... You let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”
Although the ad was created by a third party, it had to go through an approval process by Snapchat, in which Snapchat failed to see the issue. The ad made fun of domestic violence against both men and women and should not have been approved.
This caused Snapchat’s stocks to drop tremendously by four percent, according to The Wall Street Journal, costing it nearly a billion dollars.
Snapchat did apologize for the ad, stating it accidentally surpassed its approval process. “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines,” Snapchat said in a statement.
After Rihanna’s comment about the ad, Snapchat went on to apologize again about its mishap. “This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.”
Domestic violence is a serious issue and should be treated as such, and Snapchat failed on its end.
No one should feel like terrifying moments are being thrown in their face for entertainment on social media platforms. These platforms are used by millions of people every day and issues like domestic violence should not be glorified in any way.