You’d think after Snapchat got dragged for creating an offensive Bob Marley filter, other apps would steer clear of this kind of bullshit altogether. But hey, here we are again.
FaceApp users received a push notification this morning alerting them to four new filters: asian, black, caucasian and indian. For fuck’s sake, why have you done this, FaceApp?
RIP FaceApp pic.twitter.com/WqWJKDdBYT
— Kyle Jaeger (@kylejaeger) August 9, 2017
The app became popular for its ability to make people smile in sad photos, make folks look older or younger and changing their gender. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time FaceApp have fucked up – back in April they added a “hot” filter that essentially just made you look whiter.
They tried to blame it on poorly written AI, eventually removing it from the app altogether.
As for this fresh batch of insanely poor judgement, FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov told Mic that they don’t really understand why everyone’s so mad.
The ethnicity change filters have been designed to be equal in all aspects. 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.
The fact is, these features perpetuate stereotypes, even if their misguided intentions were good. It’s no longer acceptable or funny to dress up as caricatures of other races, so why would this be ok in any sense?
As you’d expect, the internet is not pleased.
Everyone loves FaceApp, the phone app that adds smiles and wrinkles to your friends’ faces!
We regret to inform you that FaceApp is racist pic.twitter.com/2tRSlcfWdc
— Jennifer/Aster Unkle (@jbu3) August 9, 2017
(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
Responding to a statement under an hour ago, Goncharov has advised “the new controversial filters will be removed in the next few hours.”