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Snapchat Removes Filter After "Yellowface" Criticism

The company said it was supposed to be "anime."

Posted on August 10, 2016, at 2:04 p.m. ET

@Snapchat @snapchatsupport idk if u realize, but this filter is yellowface and u should take it down

Snapchat added a new filter inspired by anime cartoons. However, many people immediately saw this as an ugly example of yellowface.

Everyone knows the best part about Snapchat is the filters. But a new filter was added that many people found offensive. "Yellowface" is when a non-Asian person dresses up or uses makeup (or in this case, a filter) to create cartoonish exaggeration of stereotypical Asian features – it's considered offensive in the same way blackface is.

Snapchat told The Verge that the filter was "inspired by anime and meant to be playful." The filter has been taken out of rotation due to the response.

.@Snapchat wanna tell me why u thought this yellowface was ok??

This isn't the first time a Snapchat filter has been considered racist. This past April, for 4/20, Snapchat added a Bob Marley filter that people also found tasteless and offensive.

  • Picture of Katie Notopoulos

    Katie Notopoulos is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture and is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.

    Contact Katie Notopoulos at katie@buzzfeed.com.

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