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Snapchat Under Fire for 'Racist' Filter

Snapchat Under Fire for 'Racist' Filter
A Snapchat filter accused of being yellowface landed the popular photo-sharing app in the hot seat.

(CCM) — Since its 2011 launch, Snapchat has become one of the most-used social media networks in the world in large part because of its fun and inventive filters, one of which has earned the app heavy criticism. The so-called "anime-inspired" filter, depicting cartoonish, slanted eyes, a small nose, and rouged cheeks, was widely accused by users as being yellowface, according to reports by The BBC. By definition, yellowface is the act of caricaturing people of East Asian descent by altering one's features to resemble stereotypically East Asian ones. It is viewed as being equally as offensive as blackface, redface, and brownface, which mock people of Black, Native American, and Hispanic or Latino descent, respectively.

"This anime-inspired lens has already expired and won't be put back into circulation," Snapchat said in response to the complaints. "Lenses are meant to be playful and never to offend." This is not the first time that the company has been on the receiving end of criticism. Earlier in the year, the app launched a Bob Marley filter, complete with dreadlocks and brown skin, that was criticized for being blackface. Its has also been accused of favoring whiter skin due to its occasionally skin-lightening filters.

Image: © dennizn - Shutterstock.com
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