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This article was published on August 11, 2016

Snapchat went full racist with its latest lens – again

Snapchat went full racist with its latest lens – again
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Snapchat goofed up big-time with the launch of its latest selfie lens, which added facial features similar to those of racist Asian caricatures to users’ faces.

Nobody asked for this. And yet, for some reason, Snapchat thought this was a good idea.

The filter, which was released earlier this week, has been removed – but not before several Twitter users shared images they took with the incendiary lens.

https://twitter.com/engravedhearts/status/763076322037862400

Snapchat told The Verge that the filter was “inspired by anime, and was meant to be playful.”

It isn’t the first time the ephemeral messaging service has messed up like this. In April, it released a Bob Marley lens on 4/20, which not only reduced the celebrated musician’s legacy to his affinity for marijuana but also changed users’ skin color and gender.

It’s troubling to see such callousness in a service that’s growing as quickly as Snapchat is around the world. Sure, we’re all human and will certainly make mistakes when building things. But is it beyond the company’s capabilities to test their lenses with audiences before releasing them widely?

https://twitter.com/DavidUzumeri/status/763461429630337024

It’s really not that hard.

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