Earlier this year, both Snapchat and Instagram added integration with popular GIF service Giphy, allowing users to add the stickers to their posts and stories. As first reported by TechCrunch, however, both social networks have now removed that integration due to a GIF with a racial slur…
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Both Snapchat and Instagram issued statements on the matter, saying they had removed integration with Giphy completely until the company completes an investigation.
A Snapchat spokesperson:
“As soon as we were made aware, we removed the GIF and have disabled Giphy until we can be sure that this won’t happen again . . . while we wait for Giphy’s team to take a look at it.”
An Instagram spokesperson echoed those sentiments:
“This type of content has no place on Instagram. We have stopped our integration with Giphy as they investigate the issue.”
The GIF in question referred to a ‘death counter’ while also using a racial slur. The GIF was originally discovered and shared on Twitter by Lyauna Augmon. Shortly after the discovery, Snapchat and Instagram disabled Giphy integration completely.
As for its role in this situation, Giphy said that it immediately removed the GIF in question after its discovery, saying it violated its content guidelines. The GIF slipped through the cracks in the first place, Giphy says, due to a bug in its “content moderation filters.”
The company goes on to explain that it has fixed the bug and is re-moderating all of the GIF stickers in the app. Here is Giphy’s full statement:
“A user discovered an offensive GIF sticker in our library, and we immediately removed it per our content guidelines.
After investigation of the incident, this sticker was available due to a bug in our content moderation filters specifically affecting GIF stickers. We have fixed the bug and have re-moderated all of the GIF stickers in our library.
The GIPHY staff is also further reviewing every GIF sticker by hand and should be finished shortly.
We take full responsibility for these recent events and sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended.”
Instagram was first to bring support for GIF stickers, adding Giphy integration back in January. Snapchat followed suit, adding the feature in February. Needs to say, this sort of content doesn’t reflect well on any of the companies involved here.