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Snapchat lost half a billion after Rihanna snapped back on domestic violence ad

The ad was deleted, but not before the damage was done.

by Alexa Liautaud
Mar 16 2018, 9:05pm

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, lost more than half a billion dollars by the time the market opened on Friday, a 4 percent drop that began after an advertisement seeming to make light of domestic violence began circulating on the platform.

The since-deleted advertisement allowed users to play game called “Would you rather” asking them to choose whether they’d rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.

(In 2009, Brown assaulted Rihanna inside a car on the way to the Grammy awards, choking her, threatening to kill her, and leaving her bruised and bleeding.)

Snapchat deleted the ad on Monday and apologized, stating, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines.”

"[The ad] never should have appeared on our service," Snap told Bloomberg. "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 apology didn’t satisfy the singer, who issued a statement on her Instagram story saying the company knew what it was doing.

"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!" Rihanna wrote. "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."

Chris Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, also told US Weekly, “They should change their name from Snapchat to Tone Deaf.”

A statement issued to Slate on behalf of Snapchat defended the company’s stance on domestic violence, pointing out it supports the National Network to End Domestic Violence, whose executive vice president sits on Snap’s safety advisory board.

Cover image: A protest message is affixed to a turtle as residents demonstrate near a building converted into a Snap, Inc. vender of Spectacles sunglass cameras for Snapchat on the Venice Beach boardwalk on March 11, 2017, in the Venice area of Los Angeles. Protesters accuse Snap of buying up residential and small business buildings throughout Venice and adjacent Marina del Rey, then converting them into commercial offices as a kind of sprawling campus as part of the so-called Silicon Beach movement. / AFP PHOTO / DAVID MCNEW (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)