The Internet Isn't Here For FaceApp's New, Race-Swapping Filters

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Face filters are an admittedly hard technology to navigate from a cultural standpoint, but there have been enough controversies with apps like MSQRD (acquired by Facebook) and Snapchat for young startups to learn from and avoid making mistakes.

FaceApp, the popular phone app which allows users to digitally alter their selfies, released a new set of filters on Wednesday created to make the user look either Asian, black, caucasian or Indian.

"The ethnicity change filters have been created to be equal in all aspects", Yaroslav Goncharov, the app's CEO and creator, said in an email.

In a statement sent responding to the Daily Dot's request for comment, FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov didn't directly address the assertion that these filters might be offensive for allowing people to "try on" the appearance of another race for entertainment purposes. "The "Spark" filter was quite a different case. They are even represented by the same icon", Goncharov wrote.

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"Im glad faceapp, that fun app we all used for 24 hours, just invented black face as a cool retro comeback attempt", Tweeted one user. The "Asian" filter softened my features, broadening my nose a little and flattening my bulgy eyes. Lucy Yang/INSIDER FaceApp's "Indian" filter. The app didn't use a diverse enough data set while training the filter to define "hotness", which essentially meant that the filter tried to make everyone look whiter to make them look more attractive. "In addition to that, the list of those filters is shuffled for every photo, so each user sees them in a different order", he added. The "black" filter darkened my skin, also broadened my nose, thinned out my eyebrows, and puffed my lips up.

It's a truly freaky move for FaceApp, especially since the CEO apologized for "the unquestionably serious issue" of its whitewashing "Hot" filter just earlier this year.

Not to mention Snapchat has received similar criticism in the past for its Bob Marley and "anime-inspired" filters, which users called "digital blackface" and "yellowface", respectively.

And although FaceApp's "digital blackface" filter is receiving backlash now, it isn't the company or the industry's first run-in with racial stereotyping.

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