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Snapchat has landed itself in trouble with ‘yellowface’ filter

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David Cornish
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It's 2016. Just bare that in mind as you read the following.

We live in 2016, and someone at Snapchat thought this was a good idea...

What did Snapchat do?

On Tuesday 9 August, Snapchat released a new batch of filters, amongst which was included the "anime-inspired lens".

Wait... anime?

Wait... anime?

You've seen anime, right? Big hair, big eyes, often features teenagers with super powers and anxiety issues?

Snapchat somewhat skipped over those tropes in favour of creating something of a stereotypical caricature, which didn't go down well with users. 

Many have branded the filter as 'racist'

It's not the first time Snapchat has misjudged a filter

Back in April Snapchat released a Bob Marley filter it had apparently built in partnership with the Marley estate.

Rather than celebrating Marley's iconic status, the 'blackface' filter drew fierce criticism. 

"Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley's music, and we respect his life and achievements," said a Snapchat spokesperson, totally missing the point. "[The lens] gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music."

Has...has @Snapchat just introduced a blackface filter? pic.twitter.com/K8FKOfVfXy

April 20, 2016

The anime feature was intended to be "playful"

"This anime-inspired lens has already expired, and won't be put back into circulation," Snapchat told Mashable. "Lenses are meant to be playful and never to offend."

Our advice to Snapchat: just stick to dogs, aliens and pop-culture characters.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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