FaceApp dumps 'blackface' feature after racism storm

App criticised for being racist after adding ethnic filters

Many claimed the filters were racist (Stock image)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

An app which allows people to use filters to change the appearance of their face has been accused of racism.

FaceApp can change a person's expression or look in a photo by using facial recognition and recently added filters in an attempt to make people look like they are black, white, Indian or Asian.

However the app received a huge amount of criticism for the move and has now had to remove the filters, according to The Telegraph.

Many compared the filters with the practices of "yellowface" and "blackface," which is when people use make-up to look like they are from another ethnicity.

Social media users said the filters were racist and offensive, as well as questioning why anyone thought the move would be ok.

At first FaceApp claimed the filters were not racist as they don't have either positive or negative stereotypes, but later when it announced the removal of the filters it conceded they were "controversial."

This is not the first time the company, based in Russia, has been criticised. It previously had a filter called "hot mode" that changed the user's face to have lighter skin and bigger eyes. It also removed glasses.

FaceApp apologised for the filter but only changed its name to "spark."