I think we can all agree that Snapchat seems to be in the midst of some sort of filter revolution. Now, for funsies, you could become a dog, trade faces with basically anything, and even explode your head. But a thing has happened. And people aren't sure what to think of it because this might be the first time a Snapchat filter has been (probably) politically incorrect.
So today is 420 (blaze it) and, like any digital internet based entity, Snapchat are chasing that young user base with a 420 (blaze it) themed filter. Fair play to Snapchat. Gotta help create that #content.
But people started to notice something...off about their new 420 (blaze it) themed filter.
Oh. My. GOD. Snapchat just (probably) released a blackface filter.
Right. Let's unpack this unfortunate choice of promotion.
Bob Marley was a musician who liked to smoke weed.
Bob Marley was also black.
April 20th is "weed day" also known as 4/20 (blaze it)
Snapchat is an app that has filters.
For 4/20 (blaze it), Snapchat has made a Bob Marley filter.
But, oh my God, Bob Marley is black so the filter has to reflect that....?
Snapchat made a blackface filter.
Understandably, people are kind of freaked out and angry.
This Bob Marley filter on snapchat is getting someone fired today. Blackface because it's 420 and he smoked? Really?— Pardeep Nainu (@PardeepNainu) April 20, 2016
@piripiface The key to success is NOT blackface snapchat filters. I'm out.— Mâ–˛®†¥N PΞPPΞ®ΞLL (@martynpepperell) April 20, 2016
great snapchat just what we need, a blackface filter?— Mummy Hungry (@dope_stylezz44) April 20, 2016
on the real I'm gonna need @Snapchat to explain to me how and why blackface is okay for a snapchat filter in 140 characters or less— Chloë (@Chloe_Niccole) April 20, 2016
And this special dude who quite literally predicted Snapchat crossing the line two days ago.
It's only a matter of time before Snapchat releases a filter that's a little too close to blackface.— Curtis Retherford (@ActuallyCurtis) April 18, 2016
Now, for anyone unclear on why this is (probably) blackface, let me also unpack this for you.
Blackface has been a culturally insensitive practice, largely, since the 1800s. It was used as a way to demean and present a caricature of black people. It has since become a socially unacceptable practice. In case it wasn't 100% clear on what black face is, it's when a person who is not black alters their appearance to look as if they have darker skin.
Not to mention the fact this may or may not be perpetuating negative stereotypes of black people.
We know it's all for funsies buuuuuuut, it most certainly rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
What do you guys think? Is this Snapchat feature offensive?