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Snapchat has been forced to apologise and remove an ad asking users if they would rather "slap Rihanna" or "punch Chris Brown".

The ad, which appears to be a reference to Chris Brown's conviction for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in his car in 2009, was "reviewed and approved in error", according to Mashable.

A spokesperson told the site:

The ad was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines.

We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware.

We are sorry that this happened.

Snapchat's website says that all ads on the app are subject to review and approval.

Prohibited content, according to its ad policies, includes content depicting excessive violence, and content that demeans, degrades or shows hate towards a particular race, gender, culture, country, belief of towards any member of a protected class, among others.

People on Twitter reacted how you might expect, with most aghast that the ad even existed in the first place.

Chelsea Clinton was also aghast at the ad, labelling it "just awful".

H/T Mashable

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