Snapchat Apologizes for Ad that Sparks Online Outrage

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

By Yiming Zhao 3/18/2018

A mobile video game, called, “Would You Rather” asked in one of its ads on Snapchat “would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown” last Thursday. Many users were furious. Snapchat soon issued an apology.

In 2009 Chris Brown was convicted of assaulting Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time.  Rihanna posted an angry statement on her Snapchat and Instagram accounts after she saw the ad. Rihanna said in her statement that this is something that would intentionally bring shame to DV, domestic violence victims. “This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them… but for 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…”

A Snap, Inc. spokesperson said in the apology statement, “This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process.” Rihanna responded by stating that the company should “throw the whole app-oligy away.”

“Would You Rather” is now blocked from advertising on Snapchat’s self-service platform. Snapchat’s stocks were down 4 percent Thursday because of Rihanna’s response and the nearly viral conversation about domestic violence on Twitter. Many users vowed to delete their Snapchat accounts.