The GIF ‘appears to suggest that millions of deaths are caused by black people committing crimes with a number counter continually rising'.

Instagram and Snapchat remove Giphy feature after users spot racist GIF
Atom Social Media Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 17:09

Popular image sharing and multimedia mobile app Snapchat and Instagram have temporarily removed their Giphy GIF sticker features after users saw a racist GIF as an option to add to their photographs.

"We are very sorry. This GIF should have never appeared in Snapchat. Our team has worked with Giphy to have the GIF removed and it should no longer appear," a Snap Inc. spokesperson was quoted as saying by Inverse late on Friday. 

"We are in the process of removing Giphy from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again," the spokesperson added.

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

A 21-year-old Snapchat user from England first spotted the racist animation in the library.

The GIF "appears to suggest that millions of deaths are caused by black people committing crimes with a number counter continually rising".

A similar racist GIF was spotted in Facebook-owned Instagram indicating that Giphy is at fault, according to TechCrunch

"This type of content has no place on Instagram. We have stopped our integration with Giphy as they investigate the issue," an Instagram spokesperson was quoted as saying by TechCrunch. The company also confirmed the change has been made but might take some time to propagate to all users.

Both Snapchat and Instagram had introduced the feature in February that allows users to include GIFs from the media repository Giphy in their snaps and "Stories".

According to the TechCrunch report, this isn’t the first time Snapchat has had a run-in with racist content. It faced heavy criticism in 2016 for creating an Asian “yellowface” stereotype augmented reality lens that gave people slanted eyes.

Such issues could potentially deter Snapchat from working with outside developers, something it only recently allowed to bring content into its app via its Lens Studio and the Giphy integration.

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