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Instagram, Snapchat disable Giphy feature due to racist content

Snapchat and Instagram have temporarily disabled their GIF sticker features, which were powered by Giphy, after racist content was discovered on the social media platforms. Giphy is an online database and search engine that allows users to search and share small animations files.

A racially charged GIF was found by a user who took to Twitter to express her objection. Facebook’s subsidiary Instagram has said that such content has no space on their platform while Snapchat said such GIFs are supposed to be rated PG. Community guidelines of both warn users against hate speech towards any person or group in some form.

The competing social media platforms had integrated Giphy to their platform this year: Instagram in late January and Snapchat in February. The integration has been suspended till the “problem is fixed”. Hate speech is also against Giphy’s rules.

A Giphy spokesperson told Engadget, “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. Our staff is also further reviewing every GIF sticker by hand and should be finished shortly.”

Sharable Gifs are available on Facebook Messenger as well as WhatsApp, but no comments have been made about content on their platforms.

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Snapchat has run into trouble for alleged racism content earlier, as it added a stereotypical “Asian face” filter in 2016.

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