On March 17, Rihanna made an Instagram post openly stating her disgust with an ad that Snapchat had on their app earlier this week.
“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there,” the singer began in her statement, “You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV [domestic violence] victims and made a joke of it! All the women, children and men that have [been] victims of [domestic violence] in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet…you let us down!”
Many fans of Rihanna are aware of her experience of domestic violence with Chris Brown. In 2009, Brown was was sentenced to serve five years of probation and spend more than 1,400 hours in “labor-oriented service” for the assault he committed against Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time.
The ad was for a mobile game called “Would You Rather.” In this particular version of the ad, it asked the viewer to either “Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown”. Many people were unhappy with the app prior to Rihanna’s criticism, but it wasn’t their opinions that caused Snapchat’s stock to drop.
Rihanna’s statement sent many fans into a frenzy. They’re deleting the app in a move of solidarity with the singer and other victims of domestic violence. Snapchat’s stock went down by 4 percent, making it lose over a billion dollars in a few short days since the incident. While it has been able to make some sort of a comeback from its losses, this event will have some permanent damage.
A statement from Snapchat said, “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.”
Most notably, company policy states that “All ads are subject to our review and approval” and that they do not allow “shocking, sensational, or disrespectful content” on their app. This makes the ad’s existence even more surprising.
While Snapchat has already removed the ad from its platform, screenshots of the image are still circulating, as many people are still speculating and commenting over the controversy. No one seems to be letting this pass quietly.