When an ad for a Snapchat “game” of Would You Rather popped up in my Twitter feed Sunday (March 11) featuring Rihanna and Chris Brown (aka he who entered the realm of f**kboy in 2009 and still hasn’t left), I knew things were about to get hectic…and oh boy, was that thought prophetic as hell.
The Snapchat Ad In Question a.k.a. How to Lose $800 Million Dollars In a Flash
Online commentary and backlash regarding the ad quickly reached those with a large social media presence like Brittany Packnett and Chelsea Clinton. Both honed in on the issue with such an ad beyond just its failure to be funny.
Just awful. Awful that anyone thinks this is funny. Awful that anyone thinks this is appropriate. Awful that any company would approve this. Thank you Brittany for calling this out.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 12, 2018
I don’t know about you, but to me, there’s nothing funny about domestic violence. Relationship abuse isn’t a game and shouldn’t be turned into one. Abusers shouldn’t be lauded or even passively endorsed. This type of physical abuse is not up for promotion, not even virtually.
Hell, I’m still pissed at how little Brown suffered for putting his hands on a woman with the intent to do harm. It ain’t cute and it damn sure shouldn’t be in a “game” aimed at juveniles and young adults. Chris Brown’s career should’ve died in 2009. At this point, his move to the ether where all f**kboys should dwell in obscurity is long overdue. Yeah, I said it.
Snapchat’s Response and The Fallout
Snap swiftly pulled the ad – that apparently only ran in the US – and stated it published “in error” telling BBC Newsbeat,
The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware. We are sorry that this happened.
In a second Newsbeat statement, a spokesperson for Snap Inc went further,
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.
Of course Snap would like us all to put this down to just a terrible, horrible, no good mistake. That this ad promoting slapping a woman (or hitting a man; let’s be real, dudes aren’t always the aggressor in a domestic violence scenario) just slipped under their radar. But there’s a problem with that little bit of fast talking.
Snapchat’s advertising policy is publicly available. This means the company’s let it be known that “including shocking, sensational, or disrespectful content” is subject to requests for modification or outright banning.
This Would You Rather advertisement passed through the entire review process without issue. Multiple opportunities existed to halt its approval. Instead, ad proposal was signed off and move through development.
So I’m calling bullshit on this shucking and jiving marauding as an apology.
And please note, someone at Would You Rather looked at this and thought this is just the thing missing in our game line up. Also, the subtitle was “Impossible Choices,” like you’d be hard-pressed to pick just one to hit. The game creators have yet to issue a substantive (*ahem* any) comment on the controversy.
Thou Shalt Not Come for Rihanna
So, it’s a surprise to no one at this point in life that Rihanna is skilled at destroying all you love with a faint smile on her lips and just a slight narrowing of the eyes. At least I’m sure that’s how Snapchat felt after her response posted in an Instagram story on Monday.
By the end of Thursday (March 15), Snap, Inc.’s stock dropped almost 4%. In real terms this means, the stock lost $800 million from its market share in a day. By end of trading Friday, it was down another 1%.
Now, I have a few rules in life that I allow to guide me for, safety reasons. One is, never lie to my mother because I’m pretty sure God whispers in her ear. The other rule is, never, ever come for an island woman – not in word, thought, or deed unless you’re ready for a reckoning.
My grandfather’s people are from Trinidad. Whatever brewed in his bloodline was passed down to my mother undiluted. She plays zero games and is quick to snatch your edges with a vicious clap back. Plus, I’m pretty sure she’s just getting saltier with age.
As soon as Snap saw the ad proposal they should’ve burned it with fire and sent a blind apology to Rihanna for even letting it cross their threshold.
After all the scrambling to recover from the 1.3 billion hit its market share took after Kylie Jenner’s tweets cost and having its stock downgraded from neutral to sell after user displeasure over the latest app update surfaced, it would’ve been cheaper.
What is your reaction to all this? Let us know in the comments!