Are we looking at the demise of Snapchat?


Veronica Wernicke

This advertisement was shown through the popular app, Snapchat. This ad for the game “Would You Rather” has received much backlash from not only users of the app, but Rihanna herself due to its insensitivity towards domestic violence.

Veronica Wernicke, Assistant Opinion Editor

Editor’s Note: Veronica Wernicke is a freshman at UNCW majoring in Communication Studies and is the Assistant Opinion Editor for The Seahawk. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Veronica Wernicke may be found on Twitter @itsveronica98. All suggestions and inquiries may be sent via email to [email protected]

Snapchat has been popular among teens and young adults since the app first dropped in 2011. That was until just recently, however. The app recently went through a major update which caused fans of the app to lose their minds and question how much they really loved and wanted to continue using the app — if they could even figure it out.

Kylie Jenner was quick to complain about the app’s update in Tweet.

“Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” Following this Tweet, the company reportedly lost $1.3 billion in stock, according to CNN.

To make matters worse for Snapchat, the company recently displayed a horrible — and I mean horrible — ad which essentially mocked Rihanna’s assault by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. According to CNN, the ad was for the game “Would You Rather?” and posed the question “Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown.”

First of all, who in their right mind thought this ad was appropriate? I mean someone designed this ad and then thought “This should be fine. There is not anything wrong with this.” That person needs to be fired right away. Did no one question this during and after its creation? I find that highly disturbing that this ad either seemed to get approved or slipped through the cracks. Nonetheless, this ad should have never seen the light of day.

According to CNN, ads for Snapchat are submitted through a self-service platform which does not use or require human input or negotiation. While the company claims that ads are “subject to our review and policy” and that they will not display “excessive[ly] violence[t]” content, it appears that they dropped the ball here. I do not know much about their self-service ad platform, but just from what I understand this does not seem like safest route.

How does the software know what is considered “excessive violence” or where the line drawn? It does not seem right that there is not more human involvement in this process especially given the younger ages of viewership. If I worked for Snapchat I would definitely being checking back into this idea of a self-service platform and just how efficient and effective it actually is.

Domestic violence is no joke and Snapchat really screwed up by letting this inappropriate and insensitive ad appear on their app. However, Snapchat is getting their just desserts for their terrible mistake.

Social media quickly jumped to Rihanna’s aid mentioning how insensitive the ad was not only to her, but other victims of domestic violence as well. Not long after, Rihanna took to Instagram and fired a statement about the ad.

“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!” She wrote. “You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to [domestic violence] 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!”

After reading this statement we should all just delete our Snapchats and show solidarity with Rihanna and other domestic violence victims. I could most definitely survive if I never opened up Snapchat ever again. If Snapchat has made this error who knows how many more times something like this could happen again?

Following immediate backlash from social media and Rihanna, Snapchat lost $800 million in stock, according to CNN. In no way did I find this surprising given the nature of the problem and especially since all the trouble the company has found themselves in these past couple of months.

If Snapchat goes into the future with what appears to either be taking bad advice or blind ignorance we may just see the demise of this once highly popular app.