Content Warning: This piece discusses domestic violence.
Earlier this week, Rihanna called Snapchat out for its incredibly tone-deaf ad asking users whether they’d rather ‘slap her’ or ‘punch Chris Brown’ as part of a Would You Rather game. The ad attracted a torrent of backlash from users with many accusing the app of making light of domestic abuse. In the days following, the app’s stock has dropped nearly a billion dollars.
Brown plead guilty to felony assault in 2009 after he violently bashed, choked, bit, and threatened to kill his then girlfriend, Rihanna.
Snapchat has since apologised to the musician and in an official statement explained how, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines.”
However Rihanna did not accept the apology and after she took to her Instagram story to share her disgust with the ad, people noticed Snapchat’s stock had dropped by nearly 5 per cent equating to around USD $800 million in total losses.
Rihanna’s response on Instagram read,
Rihanna responding to Snapchat's ad. I can't believe they did this. pic.twitter.com/TpHQIXTm4j
— Gennette Cordova (@GNCordova) March 15, 2018
“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it a ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!! 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.”
This has been the latest strike to tarnish Snacphat’s name. Earlier this month images surfaced of a racist GIF found via their GIPHY feature. And in February, the app fell by USD $1.6 billion after Kylie Jenner sent a tweet calling out the app for its latest format redevelopment.
If you would like to talk to a counsellor about rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, you can contact 1800 RESPECT at 1800 737 732.