Beleaguered app Snapchat has apologised for showing users an ad which asked which would be preferable: punching Chris Brown, or slapping Rihanna.
The ad, which clearly referenced Brown’s horrific 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna, was intended to spruik the Would You Rather? smartphone game.
Users took screenshots of the image and circulated it on Twitter, questioning the logic – or lack thereof – behind the patently offensive question.
Is it just me, or is this ad that popped up on my Snapchat extremely tone deaf? Like what were they thinking with this? pic.twitter.com/7kP9RHcgNG
— Royce Mann (@royceforatlanta) March 12, 2018
In a statement provided to BBC, Snapchat admitted the ad “makes light of domestic violence”.
The company also said the ad had been approved “in error”, violated its advertising standards, and was immediately removed.
Brown plead guilty in 2009 to felony assault over the incident, which saw him violently bash, choke, and threaten to kill Rihanna.
He avoided a prison term, instead entering a plea deal which saw him serve six months of community service and five years on probation.
1. snap chat ad, 2018
2. rihanna’s police statement, 2012 (CW: violence) pic.twitter.com/JURi5Ityyr
— Gina Rushton (@ginarush) March 14, 2018
This is only the latest in a recent string incidents to impact the app.
Continual user disapproval of its design overhaul, its banishment of Giphy integration over a racist GIF, and Kylie Jenner‘s infamous tweet about her declining Snapchat use have all impacted perception of the seemingly-invincible app.
If you or someone you know is dealing with issues around sexual violence or domestic or family violence, you can call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732, the Mens Helpline on 1300 78 99 78, or the Kids Helpline (ages 5 to 25) on 1800 55 1800.
If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.