A group of unfortunate human employees have been given the unenviable task of sorting through every single GIF on the website Giphy after one image was found to be shockingly racist.
Yesterday, the site was alleged to have hosted a highly offensive animated picture.
As news of the discovery went viral, Snapchat announced it was pulling its deal with Giphy, which was introduced in a controversial recent update and allowed snappers to put gifs on their images and stories.
Instagram also cut ties with the website.
The GIF was entitled ‘N***** Crime Death Counter’ and featured an image of a monkey as well as the slogan: ‘The numbers just keep on climbing.’
Now human staff are rooting through every single image on Giphy to make sure its database of GIFS is 100% free of racist content. It’s not entirely clear how many GIFS are hosted on Giphy, but it’s likely to be tens or even hundreds of thousands.
‘The GIPHY staff is reviewing every GIF sticker by hand and should be finished shortly,’ a spokesperson said.
‘We take full responsibility for these recent events and sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended.’
The GIF was found by a woman who typed in ‘crime’ and was shocked at what she found. We have decided not to name the woman, who has now locked her Twitter account after making the discovery, or reproduce the GIF.
It slipped past Giphy’s content moderation features, which makes sure all images are pasteurised to make sure they contain absolutely nothing which might offend sensitive users.
Snapchat and Instagram offered users the ability to use gifs from Giphy in recent updates. Now both apps have disabled it.
‘We have removed GIPHY from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again,’ Snapchat said.
Instagram added: ‘This type of content has no place on Instagram… We have stopped our integration with Giphy as they investigate the issue.’
On Twitter, one person questioned Snapchat’s decision and wrote: ‘So because one person finds one racist GIF we have to take the whole feature away?
‘I’m about ready to just delete Snapchat and call it quits.’
Snapchat’s recent update proved highly controversial but may have ended up giving the app a huge free publicity boost.