Is this snapchat filter "racist" against Asians?
Looks like Snapchat never learns. Just a few months ago, on April 20th, the widely popular social app found itself in hot water for a Bob Marley blackface filter that many considered to be offensive. And now, the they are facing backlash again, this time for releasing a "yellowface" filter that gives users Asian caricature-like facial features that promote a long-held stereotype.
Facing backlash from all over the internet, Snapchat has decided to pull the controversial filter, one that gives users slanty eyes and protruding teeth. This of course can be highly offensive to many, as it should be, but Snapchat has denied any racist intent in releasing the filter. "Lenses are supposed to be playful and are never meant to offend," was the company's official response to this most recent controversy. That statement itself proves exactly why there's an ongoing problem with racism and the promoting of stereotypes. People, and companies, for that matter, offend others often just by "being playful," and they may not be meaning to offend others. There may actually be no ill intent. But it's the result that matters, the insulting of a certain group of people, or an individual. Everyone should always think first before making jokes or comments about where others are from, what they look like, how certain people talk, or whatever the case may be. And especially if you are a company like Snapchat, which reportedly has over 100 million active users, you just have to be respectful. There is some sort of social responsibly to be taken, when that many people from all walks of life, all over the world, are using your product. And just less than four months ago, Snapchat offended many with a blackface Bob Marley filter. Obviously, no lessons learned there.
We are all different, which makes each and every one of us special. There are ways to celebrate those differences without offending, and maybe that's what Snapchat needs to think about when trying to have a little fun.