Wed, 19 Sep 2018

Snapchat and Instagram temporarily remove Giphy feature

By Sheetal Sukhija, South Dakota State News
11 Mar 2018, 17:48 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - After users spotted what they are calling an extremely racist GIF, which was being pushed as an option to add to their images on Snapchat - the company said that it had removed the GIF. 

The same racist GIF was later spotted on Instagram too and both the social networks have confirmed that they have pulled the GIF and the entire Giphy sticker feature from their networks, but only temporarily.

In a statement, Snapchat confirmed, “As soon as we were made aware, we removed the GIF and have disabled Giphy until we can be sure that this won’t happen again… while we wait for Giphy’s team to take a look at it.”

Snapchat said that all GIFs in the app are meant to be “rated PG,” meaning they’re mostly suitable for the 13-and-up teens that are technically allowed on Snapchat.

According to a report in TechCrunch, after the same racist GIF was spotted in Instagram, it became apparent that Giphy is at fault. 

A user is said to have alerted on Twitter that the GIF was being used within the Facebook-owned Instagram too.

Meanwhile, at its end, Giphy too appeared to have removed the GIF subsequently. 

An Instagram spokesperson was quoted as saying, “This type of content has no place on Instagram. We have stopped our integration with Giphy as they investigate the issue.” 

Reports noted that the GIF includes disturbing text including a racial slur. 

It reportedly reads “N—– Crime Death Counter – Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!” 

In an official statement, Snapchat said, “We have removed GIPHY from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again.” 

Giphy prohibits such objectionable content in their community guidelines, but since it works like a search engine that indexes the top GIFs on the web, such content becomes available.

The report later quoted Giphy as admitting that it was to blame for a bug allowing the offensive GIF through. 

A Giphy spokesperson said, “A user discovered an offensive GIF sticker in our library, and we immediately removed it per 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 have fixed the bug and have re-moderated all of the GIF stickers in our library.”

The spokesperson added, “The GIPHY staff is also further reviewing every GIF sticker by hand and should be finished shortly. We take full responsibility for these recent events and sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended.”

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