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March 11, 2018

Snapchat and Instagram pull Giphy stickers over racist GIF

by John_A

When Snapchat and Instagram introduced Giphy stickers for Stories, they expected to offer PG-rated GIFs that even their young patrons can use. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned: both platforms have disabled the feature after users discovered an extremely racist GIF that says “N—- Crime Death Counter — Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!” among Giphy’s offerings. Since the sticker was first discovered on Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging app yanked it first. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that it disabled the feature while it waits “for Giphy’s team to take a look at it.”

[Image credit: TechCrunch]

People found the same thing on Instagram shortly after, and the social network decided to follow suit. Its spokesperson echoed Snapchat’s statement, telling TechCrunch that it has “stopped [its] integration with Giphy as they investigate the issue.” Snapchat has poor track record when it comes to racial sensitivity — it released racist image filters more than once — but the fact that the sticker is also available on Instagram makes this a Giphy issue.

Giphy’s community guidelines says it doesn’t allow anything that contains Hate Speech, but it looks like at least one fell through the cracks. A spokesperson told us the image made its way to the platforms due to a bug in its content moderation filters. The online GIF database has since fixed the issue and is currently reviewing every sticker it offers by hand:

“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 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.”

Source: TechCrunch (1), (2)

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