Snapchat recently pulled a problematic (and straight-up awful) advertisement from their app that glorified domestic violence and seemingly made light of Chris Brown’s 2009 physical assault on his then-girlfriend Rihanna. The ad was for a third-party game called “Would You Rather?” with the options to “Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown.” Obviously, when Snapchat users saw the ad, they were horrified at the glib use of not just domestic violence in general, but one woman’s personal pain.
Snapchat reportedly reviews every ad placed on the social media app and even lists “shocking, sensational, or disrespectful content” and “violence” as prohibited content in their advertising policy, and yet something like this slipped through the cracks. Not only that, but it is incredibly worrisome that the ad agency who wrote the copy and the company who created the game thought that this was appropriate messaging as well.
Chelsea Clinton was one of the first to notice the traumatic advertisement and tweeted: “Just awful. Awful that anyone thinks this is funny. Awful that anyone thinks this is appropriate. Awful that any company would approve this.”
After the ad made the rounds on social media, Snapchat realized its error and pulled the ad.
“The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware,” Snapchat told BBC Newsbeat. “We are sorry that this happened.”
However, the ad was still appearing in Snap feeds as late as March 11th, 2018.
Others thought that Snapchat’s apology was a little too late and that their review process should be more thorough.
In this time of #MeToo and #TimesUp, it is especially disheartening to continue to see powerful companies make mistakes like these. Thankfully the people of the internet have the good sense and social responsibility to hold content creators, corporations, and advertisers accountable.