A little while back users of Instagram and the pre-redesign loyalists of Snapchat were blessed with the ability to use GIFs as stickers on their stories and Snaps.
It was a golden time, full of Web 1.0 sparkles and pixelated puppies and spinning rave skulls.
So of course, some racist s**tbird had to go and ruin it for everyone.
The best feature on both apps was pulled by their respective parent companies over the weekend, after LA resident Lyuana Augmon posted this GIF on her Insta and Twitter, @-ing the official Instagram account and co-founder Kevin Systrom’s personal account on both platforms, on Wednesday.
In case it’s not clear: that’s a chimp (?) turning a counter that’s tallying the number of “n***** crime deaths” (??) with a white guy with a microphone (???) yelling “Keep Cranking, Bonzo, the Numbers Just Keep on Climbing!” (????).
Yeah, it’s not great on any level, from the conceptual (is this some kind of game show?) to the grammatical to… literally everything else about it.
Anyone can upload a GIF to Giphy, so there could well be worse ones somewhere in there – but if you input slurs like the one in that gif or other potentially nasty keywords like “kkk” as a search term, you’ll get no results. If you search for “nazi” you won’t even get so much as a GIF from The Blues Brothers or Indiana Jones.
And if there’s ever been a time when we’ve needed freely available GIFs of really stupid Nazis getting dunked on by beloved musicians, comedians and university professors, it’s now.
Giphy also allows users to flag and report GIFs that violate their community guidelines – but there isn’t (well, wasn’t) this option within the Giphy interface for Insta and Snap, leaving Augmon to screenshot and tweet about it.
But given that Augmon even provided the search term under which she found the gif, it should have been easy enough for the Giphy team to sift through the “crime” tag and delete this trash.
It’s hard to see why removing GIFs from both apps entirely was the solution, – unless they’re rapidly implementing some kind of reporting feature, because social media companies loooooove making their users work for free to keep hate off the TL.
And the move meant Augmon herself has copped some heat for their decision (to the point where her account is now locked). After all, online idiots love to troll the messenger.
But let’s all remember who’s really to blame: it’s the racists. Someone thought of that unbelievably ugly GIF, spent their time making it, and uploaded it to Giphy, because they thought it was funny or to offend people or both.
So cheers, unknown racist. Robbing us of our glitchy low-res Word Art and glitter cat-face GIFs is no doubt near the bottom of the list of unforgivable things you’ve done online, but at least the three full days you probably spent making it was time away from forwarding anti-Obama chain emails formatted in lime green Comic Sans to your long-suffering family.