In late June 2021, social media users shared a meme that claimed criticism leveled by pop music mega-star Rihanna at the social media platform Snapchat caused the company’s stocks to dive by a jaw-dropping $10 billion.
The text of the meme states, “Snapchat once created a post in which they were asking people to slap Rihanna. Rihanna got angry and asked her fans to delete Snapchat. Due to it, Snapchat shares dropped heavily by $10 billion loss. It’s 30 times bigger than Rihanna’s own net worth.”
There are several things that are misleading about the above statement.
In 2018, Rihanna took to Snapchat’s competitor platform Instagram to post a message criticizing Snapchat for allowing a disturbing ad onto its platform. The ad was not created by Snapchat, but was instead made for a game called “Would You Rather.” It didn’t directly tell users to “slap Rihanna” but instead contained a graphic that asked players whether they would rather “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown.”
Rap artist Brown, Rihanna’s former boyfriend, pleaded guilty to felony assault after photographs of Rihanna’s battered face were leaked to TMZ in 2009.
Rihanna responded to the ad on Snapchat with an Instagram post that read, in part, “This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them … but all the women, children and men that have been victims of [domestic violence] in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet … you let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”
Snapchat’s stocks did plunge in value after her post, but the meme above vastly overstated the magnitude, and whether Rihanna actually caused it would be hard to prove. Snapchat stock did not fall by $10 billion. As Snopes reported in 2018, the stock fell in value by about $754 million the day of her post.
We’re not sure of Rihanna’s exact net worth, but Forbes in 2019 estimated it to be $600 million, so 30 times that amount would be $18 billion, not $10 billion.
It’s true that in 2018 Snapchat stock value dropped right after Rihanna leveled criticism of the company for allowing an ad that made light of domestic violence onto its platform. However the stock value didn’t drop nearly as much as a viral June 2021 meme stated. Since 2018, Snapchat’s stock value has recovered. We therefore rate this claim “Outdated.”