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Citizenship

Snapchat Ditches ‘Yellowface’ Filter Because No

Twitter: @tequilafunrise

Snapchat removed a controversial filter critics dubbed “Yellowface” after outrage spread across social media. The purportedly anime-inspired filter altered Snapchat users’ faces by giving their skin a yellow tone and swapping out their eyes for horizontal lines.

The reaction online was immediate and overwhelmingly negative.

"This anime-inspired lens has already expired and won't be put back into circulation," Snapchat said in an official statement on Wednesday. "Lenses are meant to be playful and never to offend."

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The filter being “anime-inspired” was immediately rejected by many online activists.

For some critics, this new incident fits a longer history of cultural insensitivity and out-right racism in Snapchat’s filters.

Read More: 7 Civil Rights Activists Carrying Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy

In April, the messaging app released a “Bob Marley” filter that blended the artist’s likeness with the user’s face. Despite the company claiming it was an ode to the famous reggae star and was developed “in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate,” users were quick to call it modern-day “blackface.”

Snapchats general “beauty” filters have come under fire for promoting European aesthetic values by lightening people’s skin.

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Snapchat is now the third most popular social media network with more than 150 million people using it each day. Those users are demanding respect.


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