Snapchat endorses domestic violence game


Yesterday the social media app came under fire when Rihanna responded to an ad it featured asking players to choose between punching Chris Brown and slapping Rihanna herself. This incitement to violence, described as Snapchat as ‘approved in error’ is indicative of a two much larger and overarching issues; why is black domestic violence treated differently and why has ‘social media’ of all things, been allowed to continue to be socially irresponsible.

This ad wasn’t would you rather punch Johnny Depp or slap Amber Heard. It wasn’t would you rather punch Pamela Anderson or slap Tommy Lee. It wasn’t would you rather punch Evan Peters or slap Emma Roberts. No, all of these incidences are rightly treated with a level of sensitivity that doesn’t seem to be afforded to black celebrities who even as victims and survivors, have to wear these titles as a marker for the rest of their lives, thereby satiating the voyeurism and adjoined narrative that many in the media have formed towards domestic violence in black couples. Rihanna is right ‘i’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!’

Snapchat as one of the most popular apps in the world has a great level of social responsibility especially to the young people that make up the majority of its users, and has clearly failed in this instance. Instead of empowering the next generation to have a voice against something that still goes widely unreported yet affects 10 Million people a year in the U.S. alone, Snapchat choose to accept money to make light of this. On a purely financial level, it is in their interest to endorse shaming a spokeswoman against domestic violence, Rihanna responds ‘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 let us down!’.

So why has this level of irresponsibility become the norm for social media? Facebook is also guilty of this type of cavalier behaviour, allowing Russian propaganda however erroneous, to be featured in the run up to the U.S. elections and in only recently banning the heinous Britain First page. These companies have shown an insensitivity that borders on a lack of morality. I for one am glad that Rihanna responded and in the manner she did so, it cannot be allowed to continue.

Adeolu Adebayo