Pop Culture

Snapchat Removed A New Filter After Users Let Them Know That It's Crazy Racist

Some are even calling it yellowface.

Snapchat may be one of the most beloved social media apps to launch in recent years, but the company is far from perfect. Snapchat owes much of its popularity to its filters, which allow users to alter their appearance and add anything from puppy dog noses to shimmering flower crowns -- but a recently debuted and quickly deleted filter has caused quite an uproar.

The controversial filter alters the user's eyes to thickly-drawn slants, plumps their cheeks, and widens their front teeth. The company told The Verge that the filter was inspired by anime and was intended to be playful, but many didn't see it that way, likening the filter to racist caricatures of Asians.

Korean American art student Grace Sparapani's tweet on the subject has gone viral after Sparapani posted a photo of herself using the filter alongside a picture of a racist caricature of an Asian man. The similarities are impossible to ignore.

"It's hard to argue with the side by side comparison of the very gross Asian caricature and the filter's effects," Sparapani said in an email to The New York Times. "It shows that the filter isn't just yellowface, but yellowface taken to its derogatory extreme."

This isn't the first misstep Snapchat has made; in addition to claims that its "beauty" filters whiten skin, users were also pissed when the company released a filter that allowed fans to darken their skin and try out dreadlocks as an homage to Bob Marley. Not a good look, Snapchat.


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