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Snapchat has lost £650m after Rihanna called out an ad mocking her domestic abuse

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Emily Reynolds
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Snapchat came under fire for an advert making light of Rihanna’s experience of domestic abuse – and when she called it out, their share value suffered 

Snapchat has lost £650million after Rihanna called out its approval of an advert that asked “would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?”. 

Rihanna responded to the advert, which was promoting mobile game ‘Would You Rather?’, on Instagram, where she accused Snapchat of “bringing shame” to victims of domestic violence.

“Now Snapchat, I know you ain’t my favourite app out there! But I’m trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!” she wrote. “I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV [domestic violence] victims and made a joke of it.”

“This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them,” she continued. “But all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet…you let us down!”

“Shame on you. Throw the whole app-ology away.”

And the post, shared on Sunday (18 March), led to the share value of Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, plummeting by 4% – a loss in value of around £650million.

Rihanna was victim to an attack by ex-partner Brown in 2009 – an attack he pled guilty to later that year. The singer later told Diane Sawyer that “all I kept thinking was ‘when is it going to stop?’”. And speaking to Vanity Fair in 2015, Rihanna said that she had consistently been blamed for the attack.

“I just never understood that, like how the victim gets punished over and over,” she said. “It’s in the past, and I don’t want to say ‘Get over it,’ because it’s a very serious thing that is still relevant; it’s still real”

A lot of women, a lot of young girls, are still going through it. A lot of young boys too. It’s not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can’t just dismiss it like it wasn’t anything, or I don’t take it seriously.”

“But, for me, and anyone who’s been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like… I have to be punished for it? It didn’t sit well with me.”

She wasn’t the only one to call out the ad, with thousands of social media users – including Chelsea Clinton – expressing their disgust online; many said they would be deleting the app altogether.

One user also pointed out that Snapchat’s App Store ranking has plummeted since her post.

A spokesperson from Snap said that the advertisement was “disgusting” and “should never have appeared on our service”.

“We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.” 

Images: Getty / Twitter