Remember how excited we were when Instagram introduced gifs to stories?
If you follow us on Instagram you will have noticed that we use this feature every single day – posting jumping hearts, wobbling houseplants or (a personal favourite) an animated Kim K crying face.
Now, the feature has been disabled on Instagram and Snapchat after users discovered a racist gif that reads ‘N***** Crime Death Counter – Keep Cranking Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!’
The gif feature is embedded in the Snapchat and Instagram apps, but the content is provided by Giphy – a site which houses gifs and animated stickers.
As users were looking for gifs to add to their snaps and Instagram stories, they came across the gif when searching ‘crime’, according to TechCrunch.
Snapchat and Instagram have removed feature and an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch: ‘This type of content has no place on Instagram. We have stopped our integration with Giphy as they investigate the issue.’
Snapchat have released an official statement along similar lines, which reads: ‘We have removed GIPHY from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again.’
Instagram’s spokesperson is right, this type of content has no place on Instagram, or anywhere for that matter. The first gif was created by software developer CompuServe in 1987, according to The Daily Dot’s history of the GIF, so sometime between 1987 and 2018 someone created this gif, uploaded it to Giphy and Giphy didn’t even realise or take it down.
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Women In Comics
Illustrating inspirational images and depicting women in comic form, this account will brighten up your timeline with some home truths in the form of pretty pictures.
Tech has a very bad reputation when it comes to racism – a Google image program labelled some black faces as gorillas, FaceApp allows you to make yourself ‘more attractive’ with a filter that lightens your skin, and some soap dispensers reportedly don’t work for black people.
But I think it’s naïve to blame the technology itself, or say that ‘some things slip through the net’ robots learn from existing data and behaviours, it’s about time we admitted that tech is just reflecting our own racism back to us.
Follow Phoebe on Twitter @PhoebeParke
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.