Rihanna's right: Snapchat isn't innocent (or immune to damage)

Rihanna just proved that once social networks went public, they put themselves on the same wobbly pedestal they themselves created. The way Snapchat was updated recently, it's fairly insulated from criticism from within its own network. But when a major influencer like Rihanna wants to take a shot at the company from another network, outside Snapchat's echo chamber, stockholders listen.

We live in a world where social networks cash in on their own ability to create echo chambers. An entity can target certain unique types of users, and those users will carry that message on in waves. Viral content and mob rule command the internet – but social networking admins rule the mob.

Unfortunate for Snapchat, Rihanna and Kylie Jenner also have power. With a single Tweet, influential pop stars have the ability to affect Snapchat's baseline. Unfortunate for Snapchat, investors in social networks move faster than viral content. They watch people like Jenner and Rihanna and react to their every public move – especially when they drop messages about Snapchat.

According to The Independent, a Jenner tweet last month caused the Snap stock to fall 8-percent. That's $1.4-BILLION off Snap's total worth. Rihanna's message more recently sent the stock down $800-million.

"Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain't my fav app out there! But I'm just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess," wrote Rihanna on Instagram. "I'd love to call it ignorance but I know you ain't that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it."

Rihanna's message was sent in reaction to an offensive advertisement listed on Snapchat's service. The ad asked users if they wanted to punch Chris Brown or slap Rihanna. A Snap spokesperson suggested the following: "This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process."

The Snap spokesperson went on, "We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again."

We heard similar stories from Facebook and Twitter with regard to Russian propaganda and bots during the 2016 US presidential election season. At some point, every network's going to need to face the obviousness of the truth: They're not immune to their own cash-making ways and means.

A lie, is a lie, is a lie. And investors don't like liars. Investors like companies that make that bank and do so without bluffing their way through public relations mess after mess after mess. It's time for social networks like Snapchat to clean up their act or to collapse under their own weight, making way for whatever's next.