It’s not even Halloween yet, but a recent
update to the photo filtering app, FaceApp, had more
people in blackface than October 31st itself.
On Wednesday, FaceApp users received a notification informing
them they’d be able to imitate other ethnicities
through new Asian, Black, Caucasian and Indian filters.
The FaceApp team soon found themselves in hot water.
wasted no time in calling out the app’s use of race as
a tool of beauty modification.
(FaceApp board meeting)
“Our app is popular.”
“What if it could be more popular?”
(Everyone leans in)
“Get this: racism.”
— Good Tweetman (@Goodtweet_man)
August 9, 2017
— Kaitlyn Wells (@KaitWells) August
ppl thought it was a grand idea to launch new race-swapping
filters but no, the tech industry could not benefit from
— Sophia (@ishtarinbrief)
August 9, 2017
And because Twitter never seems to disappoint, Rachel Dolezal
was par for the course when the jokes started flying.
— nadialiii (@Nadialiii) August
Amidst all the backlash, FaceApp founder and CEO Yaroslav
defended its incorporation of race into the app in a
statement to HuffPost.
“The ethnicity change filters have been designed to be equal
in all aspects,” 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.”
But continued backlash over the next few hours found
Goncharov less defensive and a bit more contrite.
“The new controversial filters will be removed in the next few
hours,” he told HuffPost later Wednesday afternoon.
in recent months in which the photo app offered
questionable filtering options. In April, the app
introduced a “hot” filter that let users appear to
have lighter skin which received a similar response and was
FaceApp, you had one job. Stick to it and make us look pretty
in our skin.