Instagram and Snapchat Temporarily Remove GIFs in Stories

Instagram and Snapchat Temporarily Remove GIFs in Stories

Instagram and Snapchat have temporarily removed the Giphy sticker feature from their platforms after a user discovered a racist GIF, which could be added to a story.

The Sun alerted Snapchat to the GIF, after which it was promptly deleted, followed by the removal of the GIPHY database.

Before the GIF's removal, it was easily available to users of the app, and could be overlaid on photo and video messages in mere seconds by searching for the word "crime" via the app's GIF library.

While we have to do without the interactive stickers, for now, we're sure they'll be making a return once GIPHY get's their system back in order, until now we'll just have to deal with what we've got! The company confirms the change has been made but might take some time to propagate to all users. An Instagram spokesperson tells TechCrunch "This type of content has no place on Instagram". Some users also tweeted about the racist GIF, which lists out black people as criminals with a ticking counter for the same. The GIF included a racial slur and a reader shared a screenshot with that problem. The Giphy community guidelines prohibit this kind of objectionable content in the first place, but since it works like a search engine that indexes the top GIFs on the web, things can slip through.

GIF stickers in stories were removed from Instagram and Snapchat after it was found that an offensive GIF could be selected from Giphy's library.


Only teenagers over the age of 13 are allowed to hold an account with Snapchat. TechCrunch broke the news on Instagram building a similar Giphy integration in late January, which launched a week later. This slip-up may control Snapchat for working with reputed outside developers.

The GIF function was integrated from Giphy's server so that Instagrammers would have access to thousands of GIFs with just a keyword search.

The incident is embarrassing for Instagram's parent company Facebook.

Meanwhile, the GIF was also used on Instagram, as one Twitter user discovered.

Snapchat and Instagram will have to decide whether they want help from outsiders even if it can't guarantee the quality or safety of their content, or whether it will go it alone as they compete against each other.

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