Earlier this week, Snapchat apologized after posting a truly offensive advertisement to some U.S. users that asked if they'd rather "Slap Rihanna" or "Punch Chris Brown." After receiving major backlash over approving the ad, which seemed to make light of domestic abuse by referencing the 2009 incident in which the rapper attacked then girlfriend Rihanna in his car on the day before that year's Grammy Awards (he later pleaded guilty to one count of assault), Snapchat removed the ad from the app. "The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware," Snapchat said in a statement to the BBC on Tuesday. "We are sorry that this happened."
On Thursday, Rihanna herself joined many others in condemning the social media company's misguided decision to post the ad in the first place, speaking on behalf of not only herself but also the countless other survivors of domestic violence. "Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain't my fav app out there! But I'm just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I'd love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain't that dumb!" she wrote on her Instagram Story. "You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!! This isn't about my personal feelings, cause I don't have much of them...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!" She concluded her powerful statement with, "Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away."
Rihanna, 30, has previously spoken out about how painful it is to be forced to read about such a traumatic experience in the news long after it happened. "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?" she told Vanity Fair in 2015. And though she told VF that she didn't want to be "punished over and over" by constantly being asked about the 2009 incident, she noted that the topic of domestic abuse is an important one to keep talking about. "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," she said. "It's not a subject to sweep under the rug."