Snapchat is being slammed for its ‘whitewashing’ lenses

Snapchat is once again being blasted for a skin tone face lens.

Last month it released a Bob Marley lens that many critics likened to digital blackface. This time around, the controversy is over a filter that “whitewashes” the user’s face, smoothing over the skin with a light complexion, bigger eyes and a thinner jaw. Snapchat users have dubbed it the “pretty” filter because it wipes out blemishes, however it has sparked criticism that it’s promoting Eurocentric beauty standards.

Many users were upset, including one who said they’re “very disturbed by the fact that your ‘beautification’ filters make my skin lighter, and my nose and jaw smaller. Just saying.”

Criticisms from others online also echo that sentiment:

On the flip side, others are find this “controversy” to be overstated:

Snapchat defended its Bob Marley lens and declined to pull it, despite pleas from users. The company didn’t immediately respond for comment for this latest controversy.

More in Media

YouTube is under fire again, this time over child protection

Adalytics Research asks, ‘Are YouTube advertisers inadvertently harvesting data from millions of children?’

Illustration of a puzzle that spells out the word 'media.'

Media Briefing: Publishers pump up per-subscriber revenue amid ad revenue declines

Publishers’ Q2 earnings reveal digital advertising is still in a tight spot, but digital subscriptions are picking up steam.

Lessons for AI from the ad-tech era: ‘We’re living in a memory-less world’

Experts reflect how the failures of social media and online advertising can help the industry improve the next era of innovation.