Popular, yet controversial, selfie editing app FaceApp has been forced to remove newly-introduced filters which enabled users to change the race of their pictures, mere hours after it launched.
The feature gave users the chance to edit their image to fit one of four categories: Asian, Black, Caucasian or Indian. And, unsurprisingly, this didn’t go down too well.
Despite this, in an initial statement released, the company’s chief executive Yaroslav Goncharov said: “They don’t have any positive or negative connotations associated with them. They are even represented by the same icon. In addition to that, the list of those filters is shuffled for every photo, so each user sees them in a different order.” Just a few hours later, the feature was removed.
The app, which initially rose to fame for enabling users to make themselves look younger or older, has got itself into hot water surrounding race before. In April, it introduced a ‘hot’ filter, which was supposed to make people look more attractive – and, in doing so, lightened people’s skin tones.
Faceapp isn’t alone in racial controversy, however. Even major players like Snapchat come under fire sometimes. The image messaging app has received backlash on two separate occasions – once relating to a Bob Marley filter being akin to ‘blackface’, and an anime-inspired one which drew comparisons to ‘yellowface’.