FaceApp Launched A Blackface Filter And People Were Absolutely Furious
The creators of the popular photo filter app FaceApp launched, and then very quickly deleted, a series of “ethnicity filters”, and Jesus Christ how have people not gotten the memo on this by now?
The short-lived filters were designed to let users see what they might look like as a member of another race. Users could choose between “Caucasian”, “Black”, “Asian” and “Indian”, with the app altering not just the colour of their skin but also facial features such as the width of their nose or the apparent texture of their hair.
um… FaceApp? pic.twitter.com/5avg89otG9
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 9, 2017
How anyone at FaceApp thought this was a good idea is a mystery. But the reaction on social media soon made it crystal clear just how much they had fucked up.
— Hannah (@HannahLivesBlog) August 9, 2017
Everyone loves FaceApp, the phone app that adds smiles and wrinkles to your friends’ faces!
We regret to inform you that FaceApp is racist pic.twitter.com/2tRSlcfWdc
— Jennifer Unkle (@jbu3) August 9, 2017
Hey remember when FaceApp was only a wee bit transphobic? Worry not they’ve literally added a Blackface option pic.twitter.com/akjsBWAL0q
— Breadlines Champions (@iamLoafman) August 9, 2017
(FaceApp board meeting)
“Our app is popular.”
“What if it could be more popular?”
(Everyone leans in)
“Get this: racism.”
— Good Tweetman (@Goodtweet_man) August 9, 2017
It’s especially baffling that something like this could have gotten approved given that the app makers already had to apologise for racial insensitivity back in April, after users began complaining that the “hot” filter made their skin tone lighter.
Snapchat likewise came under fire in April after it launched a Bob Marley filter that was also decried as racist.
FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov initially defended the new feature, telling Mic via email that “the ethnicity change filters have been designed to be equal in all aspects” and that “they don’t have any positive or negative connotations associated with them.”
However he subsequently confirmed that the filters would be removed.
Feature image via Jennifer Unkle/Twitter