Social media giant, Snapchat came under fire earlier this week after running an ad created by a third party, which modeled itself after a “Would You Rather?” game. One of the would-you-rathers—which asked users to choose whether they would prefer to “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown”—drew criticism from users of the app, as well as from Rihanna herself, whose callout post on Instagram apparently cost the app $800 million.
The ad, which was created by a third party but had to undergo an approval process by Snapchat, was taken down, but not before quite a lot of damage was done. Snapchat stocks plunged by 4 percent on Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal, losing the app nearly a billion dollars this week—evidently due to Rihanna fans who decided to delete the platform from their smartphones.
Snapchat apologized for the ad after pulled it from the platform Monday, saying in a statement, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines.”
Rihanna was not impressed; her response to Snapchat eviscerated the company for making money from an ad that appeared to make light of domestic violence. “You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!” she posted on her Instagram story on Thursday.
“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.”
Rihanna responding to Snapchat's ad. I can't believe they did this. pic.twitter.com/TpHQIXTm4j
— Gennette Cordova (@GNCordova) March 15, 2018
Following Rihanna’s statement, Snapchat responded by apologizing again:
“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.”
The ad made reference to Brown’s assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, before the 2009 Grammy Awards. Brown later pled guilty to felony assault, and received five years probation and six months of community service. This also isn’t the first time a celebrity has lost Snapchat a lot of money: just last month, the company lost $1.3 billion after Kylie Jenner asked her 25 million Twitter followers, “does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?”