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Would You Rather: Be Snapchat or Be Rihanna?

Back in 2018 Snapchat made a BIG mistake that enraged many celebrities and even the general public. It all began with the grand idea to introduce games to the billions of Snapchat users. A popular game from way back when the digital age was non-existent began advertising between stories, would you rather. Well, let’s just say that Rihanna and Chris Brown would rather not. Do you remember that scandal? Snapchat lost millions of dollars for that one question, would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?

Of course, it’s not hard to see what’s wrong with this question, but it’s even more intense when it is rhetorically analyzed. The audience of Snapchat, as I mentioned, is billions of people, who were then faced with whether or not this question was appropriate and if Snapchat was representing their values. Not only did Rihanna reject Snapchat’s apology but she and many other celebrities and civilians deleted Snapchat altogether. Now, if this wasn’t Snapchat, maybe the outcomes wouldn’t be so catastrophic? Snapchat as the author makes room for a lot of damage to money, sharing, and advertising. As mentioned above, the context is what ruins it. Chris Brown was charged for domestic abuse against Rihanna in 2009; using this scandal for satire is simply inappropriate and wrong. So, why did Snapchat do it? That’s the tough question that is unfortunately impossible to answer by anyone, not on the Snapchat team.





Obviously there are ways that this could’ve been avoided such as double-checking advertisements, copy, games, etc. or testing out products before using them on Snapchat. Honestly, Snapchat could have a thing that automatically doesn’t allow celebrities names in ads or games, that way nothing can be twisted and shamed.


The would you rather Snapchat fail is quite different than stories we have read in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed because it was done by a huge company rather than an individual. Since it was a large, popular social media company they didn’t experience much “shaming” after their communication failure. People posted about it, talked about it, some stopped using Snapchat, but that’s all that happened. It was a small story that I didn’t even know about until I started researching for this post, and I use Snapchat for hours a day. Within the book, the scandals affected the person’s entire life and reputation, which wasn’t the case for Snapchat.


This Snapchat case is drastically different from the one we read and discussed about Michael Moynihan. Michael’s life was largely changed and his reputation was ruined by his acts of plagiarism and the brutal world of Twitter. He could no longer make money for writing, speaking, and his social media presence was ruined forever. Obviously, Snapchat was not affected in the same way because billions of people still use Snapchat daily and many do not know about what happened with Rihanna and would you rather back in 2018.

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