Snapchat released a special filter on “Freedom Day” in the United States, which provides a “Smile breaks chains”. However, users did not appreciate the creativity, thinking it was a failed attempt to draw people’s attention to the country’s racism. At the same time, this is not the first scandal due to the skin color used in American service.
According to Mashable, in the “Freedom Day” filter, Snapchat has been the center of the scandal.
On June 19, the United States celebrated Freedom Day, marking the abolition of slavery in the country. This year Snapchat has a special filter dedicated to this date. Prompt the user to “smile” and then interrupt the chain that appears in the background.
Many users find it inappropriate by writing information about this filter on social networks. This year’s Freedom Day coincided with anti-racist protests that occupied many states of the country, making the situation even worse.
As a result, Snapchat management decided to remove the filter with the chain from the platform and formally apologized.
So Snapchat made a Juneteenth filter… I dunno how to feel about it. pic.twitter.com/m671iBV7di
— Hi, I'm Kel and my Black life matters. ✊🏿🖤 (@YummiKoko69) June 19, 2020
The company said in a statement: “We want to apologize to all members of the Snapchat community who discovered this filtering offense. We will investigate this error to prevent it from appearing again in the future.”
Snapchat added that the development of this filter is a team of representatives of different races. Una King, Snapchat’s vice president of ethnic diversity and inclusion, acknowledged in a letter to all employees of the company that “a more suitable filter” should be created to commemorate “Freedom Day”.\
“Obviously, we cannot consider the severity of a smile as a trigger. Failure depends entirely on my conscience,” Jin said.
Earlier, Snapchat had appeared in racist scandals. Therefore, in 2016, a filter for processing selfies appeared on the platform. Which increased the corolla and significantly lightened the facial tones. In addition, the nose and chin look smaller visually. The company is accused of “washing white powder”-users are angry at the fact that beautification of photos means light skin.
In the same year, another filter was criticized-he “turned” the user into Bob Marley (Bob Marley), adding a signature striped cap and braid to him. The user’s skin color becomes darker.
However, not only Snapchat has been criticized by offensive filters.
At the time, the Russian app FaceApp also faced racist scandals.
In 2017, its developer Yaroslav Goncharov had to apologize for the filter called Hot. According to the plan, he should make the photos more attractive. But as a result, he greatly reduced skin tone and made facial features similar to those in Europe. This greatly angered black users who called the filter “racist.”
A few months later, FaceApp appeared with “white”, “black”, “Asian”, and “Indian” filters, allowing you to imagine how users would look when they represented a particular race. After making a series of negative comments on the developer, Gunchalov said that he deleted these filters. But clarified that adding these filters does not mean anything bad.