The world is now fighting racism. Top technology companies have been advocating the cause very strongly since a few years. There has been many instances where racist activity has been highly penalized by these tech giants. For example, YouTube’s top celebrity PewDiePie was severely penalized when he was found using the infamous racist word. Then, another instance, an Airbnb host was charged a penalty of $5,000 for canceling a reservation using a racist comment.
Recently Giphy, the popular GIF application has been found to have huge number of racist GIFs. When a user types ‘crime’ in the GIF search section, a racist GIF pops up. It shows a a monkey cranking a machine which says “N***** Crime Death Counter”, with an announcer saying “Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!” This highly offensive GIF along with many others, were reported against.
Giphy does not allow users to post offensive GIFs but the advanced search algorithm indexes GIFs based on how frequently they are used. Users have protested to both Snapchat and Instagram.
In response to the protest, both Instagram and Snapchat has disabled Giphy integration from their applications. Snapchat has also clarified :
“We have removed GIPHY from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again.”
Instagram has also made similar revealations, that they will not tolerate such hate contents and confirmed that Instagram has no place for such things.
Facebook Messenger and Twitter are still supporting Giphy GIFs on their platform. These two applications deploy the Tenor database, which means that they are safe from such controversial gifs.