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Snapchat Apologized After Running A Tone-Deaf Ad That Asked Users To Either ‘Slap’ Rihanna Or ‘Punch’ Chris Brown

Snapchat recently ran a tasteless advertisement that made light of domestic violence on Rihanna’s behalf. As would be expected, the social media app is receiving heavy criticism for allowing such an oversight to occur — including from Rihanna herself.


The advertisement was for the app “Would You Rather?” and it asked users, “Would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?” This is likely a reference to the highly publicized domestic assault case in 2009, in which Brown was alleged to have repeatedly hit Rihanna, who was his girlfriend at the time. He then pled guilty to felony assault and making criminal threats.

Rihanna posted a response on her Instagram story, stating:

“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-ology away.”

Other people on social media called out the ad, including Chelsea Clinton. 



Snapchat later issued a public statement apologizing for 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. We are sorry that this happened.”

The damage was already done, though. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rihanna’s post erased roughly $800 million of Snapchat’s market value. 

Hannah is an editorial intern for Her Campus and the editor of the High School section as well as a chapter writer for the University of Michigan. Achievements include being voted "Biggest Belieber" (2010) and "Most Likely to Have a Child Born Addicted to Starbucks" (2016), as well as taking a selfie with the back of Jim Harbaugh's head.  Goals for the future include taking a selfie with the front of Jim Harbaugh's head.  She's also an obsessive Instagrammer, so hit her with a follow @hannah.harshe
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