Instagram and Snapchat Suspends Giphy Integration after Alleged Racial Slur

Doris Richards
March 12, 2018

"The GIF depicted a person saying "(racial slur) Crime Death Counter - Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!" while a chimpanzee turned a crank attached to a counter. There's no word on when Giphy GIFs feature will reappear on Instagram and Snapchat, but both the platforms have issued statements addressing the incident. The company confirms the change has been made but might take some time to propagate to all users.

Both Snapchat and Instagram issued statements on the matter, saying they had removed integration with Giphy completely until the company completes an investigation.

The questionable GIF "appears to suggest that millions of deaths are caused by black people committing crimes with a number counter continually rising", IANS reported. An Instagram spokesperson tells TechCrunch "This type of content has no place on Instagram". TechCrunch received a screenshot of the GIF on Snapchat from a reader.

Speaking to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for GIPHY said: "A user discovered an offensive GIF sticker in our library, and we immediately removed it per our content guidelines". They are also awaiting a response from the Giphy team. The GIF slipped through the cracks in the first place, Giphy says, due to a bug in its "content moderation filters".

We've reached out to Giphy for comment but haven't heard back.

Did you wake up today to find you're the cute GIF stickers gone from Instagram or Snapchat? This GIF should have never appeared in Snapchat.

Snapchat launched Giphy integration on Feb 20 to allow users to add moving images, curated as safe by the Giphy team, to their photos and videos. In 2016, it faced tremendous criticism for creating Asian yellow face. The slip-up could deter Snapchat from working more with outside developers, which it's only recently allowed to bring content into its app via its Lens Studio and the Giphy integration. Snapchat risks an unsavory reputation if it can't keep its content under control.

The incident is embarrassing for Instagram's parent company Facebook.

We tried searching for GIFs on Snapchat and Instagram and the feature is not available for the moment.

Other Facebook-owned platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are also supplied with GIFs by the same online database.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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