Snapchat and Instagram temporarily suspended stickers by GIF search engine Giphy after outcry by users over a racist GIF which was an option to add to their images.
In a statement to TechCrunch, both companies confirmed that integration with Giphy would be halted while it investigated how the offensive GIF sneaked through their filters.
Snapchat, on the other hand, confirmed that it has removed the offensive GIF and said:
We have removed GIPHY from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again. This type of content has no place on Instagram. We have stopped our integration with Giphy as they investigate the issue.
Instagram spokesperson also said such content had no place on Instagram, and that integration with Giphy was suspended though it may take some time to propagate to all users.
The GIF depicted a person saying “(racial slur) Crime Death Counter – Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!” while a chimpanzee turned a crank attached to a counter.
The Giphy community guidelines prohibited such objectionable content, but as it worked like a search engine that indexed the top GIFs on the internet, unsavoury content occasionally slipped through.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Giphy admitted it was to blame for a bug allowing the offensive GIF through.
“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,” said a spokesperson.
“We take full responsibility for these recent events and sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended,” they added.