Snapchat is under close scrutiny again as its users report that the app keeps "whitewashing" their faces.
The face-altering features on the app apparently "whitewash" the users' pictures. For example, one of the filters on the app that allows you to add a flower crown to your picture, appears to lighten the skin. This is also the same for the "beautifying" filter, which lightens the skin, eyes and also makes the nose and chin appear smaller.
idk why snapchat filters whitewash so much but im having fun pic.twitter.com/fIUdHI6G1M— Pleiades (@oracleofvenus) April 23, 2016
Since its launch, the popularity of the Coachella-inspired filter, users have voiced their disapproval on Twitter regarding how the app keeps whitening their pictures, especially if the user is of a darker skin complexion.
One user tweeted:
snapchat filters whitewash so much its annoying lmao my neck is literally 2 shades darker but ok? pic.twitter.com/LRr2WqGIK6— ❤︎ carolina ❤︎ (@champurrad0) May 1, 2016
i like the flower crown filter on snapchat but why it gotta whitewash my beautiful brown skin— gimme a break im big (@heyfrangel) April 18, 2016
Why did Snapchat whitewash me pic.twitter.com/UuLK9toNoy— reckless behaviour (@neesh_chal) April 29, 2016
And some simply want it fixed:
can snapchat remake that cute flowercrown filter and make it so it doesnt whitewash me that would be real neato— moony (@bubblejuices) April 16, 2016
This is not the first time however, the social media application has faced an outcry over "whitewashing."
On April 20, known as "Weed Day" and celebrated by pot smokers worldwide, Snapchat offered a Bob Marley filter to mark the occasion. When a user snapped a picture of themselves, the filter would add a cap and dreadlocks to the user's face, in addition to it making the skin slightly darker as well.
Some saw it as an insult, reminding them of "blackface" — a form theatrical makeup used in the 19th century and widely considered to be racist.
Snapchat defended the Marley filter by saying, "It gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music."
There are those however, who have come out in defense of Snapchat, saying that the skin lightening feature is like having a flash on a camera.