The Charles Street Times

Giphy is Back!!

Patrycja Chrzanowska, Editor

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Anyone who uses Snapchat and/ or Instagram may be familiar with a fairly new feature on both social media apps called Giphy. The feature allows users to add GIF stickers onto their snaps and stories. Most Instagram and Snapchat users have enjoyed using these GIF stickers, but on March 9, the feature was temporarily disabled. Although the feature has since been re-enabled, many users wonder why it was disabled in the first place.

Well, the issue is that Giphy, although being used on Snapchat and Instagram, is its own entity. Neither Snapchat nor Instagram can control what GIFs are available to use. Giphy was supposed to have only offered PG-rated GIFs, as it’s community guidelines even state that Giphy does not allow hate speech; however, the way the feature works involves using an algorithm to pull up the most popular and relevant GIFs on the internet. This means that sometimes, something inappropriate can slip by, and that’s exactly what had happened on March 9. A few users of the apps discovered a racist GIF which said, “N—- Crime Death Counter — Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!” This infuriated some people and rightly so. Once Instagram and Snapchat realized what had happened, they immediately removed the GIF and temporarily disabled Giphy in order to fix the issue and make sure this wouldn’t happen again.

Giphy has fixed the issue and are being much more careful about monitoring the GIFs that appear on Instagram and Snapchat. So far since the feature has been fixed and re-enabled, there has not yet been another issue. Hopefully there won’t be any more issues like this in the future.

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