Snapchat have come under fire for allowing an advertisement on their app that appears to make light of domestic violence by pitting Rihanna and Chris Brown against each other in a 'Who would you rather slap/punch' situation. The ad for a "Would You Rather" trivia game asked users whether they would rather “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown”, particularly pertinent after Brown pleaded guilty to physically assaulting Rihanna while the two were dating in 2009 and served five years' probation. Activists and fans alike have been tweeting about how disappointed they are with the company's decision to host the ad, with Chelsea Clinton writing: "“Just awful. Awful that anyone thinks this is funny. Awful that anyone thinks this is appropriate. Awful that any company would approve this."
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 (@TheRoyceMann) March 12, 2018
Rihanna took to Instagram to talk about the ad, and explained why it was so problematic: “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 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.”
Snapchat has since chosen to take the ad down, and given a statement to the Hollywood Reporter to apologise for allowing it on the app: “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." According to Snapchat, the ad for the mobile video game, which is not directly affiliated with the social media app, has now been blocked from the platform after failing to abide by the app's advertising policies, which forbid "shocking, sensational or disrespectful content." It's still not clear how it passed the review process in the first place, as it's understood every advertisement goes through a fairly rigorous vetting before it makes it on.