Snapchat and Instagram temporarily removed their Giphy GIF features after users saw an extremely racist GIF as an option to add to their images. Snapchat confirms to TechCrunch "As soon as we have been notified, we have removed the GIF and disabled Giphy until we are sure it will not happen again … while we wait for the team to Giphy takes a look at it. "
A source tells TechCrunch that the same racist GIF was spotted in Instagram, indicating that Giphy is at fault. A tweet from Lyauna Augmon shows the GIF used in Instagram. Giphy seems to have deleted the GIF because it is no longer available on Instagram. An Instagram spokesperson tells TechCrunch "This type of content has no place on Instagram. We have stopped our integration with Giphy while they are investigating the problem." The company confirms that the change was made but that it could take some time before spreading to all users.
[Update: This article has been updated to show that the GIF also appeared on Instagram, not just Snapchat.]
Snapchat's spokesperson says that all of Snapchat's GIF files are supposed to be "PG rated", which means that they are especially suitable for teens 13 and older who are technically allowed on Snapchat.
GIF includes disturbing text that includes a racial insult, which TechCrunch has scrambled below. He reads "N– Crime Death Counter – Keep Cranking Bonzo, the numbers keep climbing!" TechCrunch has received a screenshot of GIF on Snapchat from a reader. Attention: The image below may be disturbing to some:
Snapchat's official statement is "We removed GIPHY from our app until we could be assured that it will never happen again." A spokesperson for Snapchat tells me that the company is really sorry. The Giphy community guidelines prohibit this type of objectionable content first, but since it works as a search engine that indexes the best GIFs on the Web, things can go unnoticed.
Here is the version spotted on Instagram, censored by TechCrunch:
We reached out to Giphy for a comment, but we did not hear.
"A user found an offensive GIF sticker in our library and we immediately deleted it in accordance with 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 fixed the bug and re-moderated all the GIF stickers in our library.
GIPHY staff also review each GIF sticker by hand and should be completed shortly.
We take full responsibility for these recent events and offer our sincere apologies to all those who have been offended. "
Snapchat only launched Giphy's integration on February 20 so that people could showcase their photos and videos with animated and secure images by the Giphy team. TechCrunch broke the news on Instagram by building a similar Giphy integration in late January, which was launched a week later.
This is not the first time Snapchat has used racist content. Back in 2016, he was heavily criticized for creating an Asian stereotype "yellowface" augmented reality lens that gave people slanted eyes. Snapchat risks a bad reputation if it can not keep its contents under control. This error could deter Snapchat from working more with external developers, which has recently allowed it to introduce content into its application via its Lens Studio and Giphy integration.
The incident is embarrassing for the parent company of Instagram, Facebook. It also casts doubt on Facebook's Messenger Kids application, which also has Giphy integration which is only supposed to display G-sized images.
Snapchat and Instagram will have to decide if they want help from strangers, even if they can not guarantee the quality or security of their content, or s & rsquo; They will go it alone by fighting it.