Snapchat has removed a photo filter that turned users’ facial features into oriental caricatures.
The lens turned user’s faces, specifically their eyes and teeth into a goofy image of a person from East Asia.
Snapscat removed the new face altering filter after people complained of racial insensitivity calling it the equivalent of “yellowface.”
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PC Mag reports:
Following a Bob Marley-esque faux pas, Snapchat is in hot water again, thanks to a recent filter that allowed users to transform their faces into what many are calling “yellow face.”
Said lens gave those using it cartoony slanted eyes, puffy cheeks, and buck teeth. Not cool, Snapchat—but you don’t need us to tell you that.
— Tasting with Tansu (@TansuPhilip) August 9, 2016
Snapchat has since removed the filter and has indicated that the company has no plans to re-release it at any future point.
“This anime-inspired lens has already expired, and won’t be put back into circulation. Lenses are meant to be playful and never to offend,” a Snapchat representative told Mashable.
On April 20 (of all days), Snapchat launched a Bob Marley-esque filter that wasn’t very well-received, even though Snapchat was pretty positive about it at the time.
“The lens we launched today was created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate, and gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music,” a company statement published by The Verge said at the time. “Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley’s music, and we respect his life and achievements.”.
It’s unclear just what Snapchat’s process is for creating these lenses, including what kind of oversight there might be at the company or how some of these ideas go from concepts to featured items.
Motherboard asked Snapchat similar questions following this latest filter issue, but Snapchat hasn’t responded.
“For the tech industry, none of this is foreign territory or surprising, really,” Motherboard contributing editor Sarah Emerson wrote. “From the quiet racism that’s endemic to Silicon Valley, to the shallow attempts to appease women and POC, tech is still a well-fortified bastion for white male elites.”
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