Instagram, Snapchat Disables Giphy Integration Following Backlash Over Racist GIF

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Giphy has been disabled on Snapchat and Instagram. The move comes after a Twitter user discovered a racist GIF from Giphy’s indexing service that blatantly used the N-word.  ( Robyn Beck | AFP/Getty Images )

Snapchat and Instagram both have pulled their Giphy integrations temporarily after a racist GIF made the rounds and caused some controversy. Giphy, for those who don't know, is a wide library of GIFs for different occasions.

The controversial GIF featured the N-word, followed by "Crime Death Counter." A monkey was holding some sort of lever that controls the counter while an announcer said, "Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!"

Giphy Disabled On Instagram And Snapchat

Snapchat confirmed to TechCrunch that it removed the GIF and disabled Giphy as soon it was made aware. Giphy will remain disabled until Snapchat can be certain that such an incident will never happen again, according to the company.

Meanwhile, the GIF was also used on Instagram, as one Twitter user discovered. As of this writing, Giphy is no longer accessible on the app. A spokesperson also has announced that such content has no place on the photo-sharing service.

Snapchat said all GIFs must be "rated PG," meaning they should be suitable for 13-year-olds and above. As TechCrunch reports, Snapchat is apparently very sorry.

Below is the GIF in question. Warning: the image may be disturbing and offensive for many.

What Does Giphy Have To Say?

As for Giphy, its guidelines actually prohibit the GIF in question along with similar racially motivated slurs, but since the app works similarly to a search engine by virtue of indexing top GIFs from the web, it's unavoidable that poor and offensive GIFs slip through the cracks.

"After investigation of the incident, this sticker was available due to a bug in our content moderation filters specifically affecting GIF stickers," Giphy has explained, adding that it corrected the said bug and "re-moderated" GIF stickers within its library.

Instagram added support for Giphy back in January, and then Snapchat followed suit, adding the integration this past February. Both allow users of either app to place various stickers on photos and videos within stories.

As for Snapchat, this isn't its first incident associated with racist content. Back in 2016, the company was the target of heated criticism after creating a "yellowface" stereotype for Asians by adding a special augmented reality filter that rendered slanted eyes onto one's face.

Overall, this is an embarrassing incident for all companies involved, especially for Giphy, which most likely should be looking into introducing stricter filter controls to prevent racist and hateful content from entering its indexing algorithm. Moving forward, Snapchat and Instagram might be cautious and wary of supporting third-party apps that pull in content from various sources.

Thoughts about the racist GIF in question? As always, if you have any thoughts, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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