Snapchat has come under fire for a new feature that appears to resemble ‘yellowface’. Users across social media have called out the platform for its ‘racist’ caricature of Asians.
As reported by MIC, users on the image and video-sharing app have pointed out the faults of this new filter, which features a composite that squashes a user’s face and adds squinting eyes, raised eyebrows, large teeth and blushing cheeks. It’s been criticised for playing on features routinely used in Western society to exaggerate and stereotype Asian people.
On Twitter, @tequilafunrise said: “Wanna tell me why you thought this yellowface was ok??” Another user, @tansuphilip, said: “What the HELL is up with this yellow face filter? Racist filters are not cute. Wtf are you doing? Deleting”. Many dubbed it “the most racist filter ever”, with images of themselves using the dubious filter attached.
This isn’t the first time Snapchat has caught criticism for its potentially offensive available filters. On the worldwide weed holiday 4/20 back in April, the app was criticised for its use of ‘digital blackface’ with a Bob Marley image option. It included dreadlocks, a Rastafarian hat, beard and darker skin.
Snapchat defended the Bob Marley filter to CNN, when a statement claimed: “Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley's music, and we respect his life and achievements. (The lens) gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music.”