What the hell was Snapchat thinking with its racist ‘yellowface’ filter?
Messaging app Snapchat is engulfed in another racism storm after releasing a new filter, which morphed users’ faces into outrageous Asian caricatures.
The company, which has now pulled the feature, had claimed it was attempting to mimic anime characters, but instead served up a filter depicting insensitive stereotypes like closed eyes, enlarged front teeth and rosy cheeks.
The company told The Verge this latest offensive filter will no longer be available, following a surge of complaints on social media with Twitter user @tequilafunrise among the first to voice displeasure at the example of “yellowface.”
The filter added dreadlocks to users and altered their skin colour in a manner bordering on ‘blackface’ as part of a misguided effort to celebrate 4:20 culture on April 20.
This new issue raises questions yet more questions about the Silicon Valley start-up, which has also been dogged by gender discrimination accusations since its launch as an ephemeral “sexting” app in 2011.
This fresh incident is hardly going to assist the firm, and CEO Evan Spiegel’s persisting reputation as the overgrown frat boys of the start-up scene.
Perhaps, the company which has over 300 million users and is valued at over $20 billion will finally learn its lesson this time around?