Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

FaceApp 'Racist' Filter Shows Users As Black, Asian, Caucasian And Indian

FaceApp 'Racist' Filter Shows Users As Black, Asian, Caucasian And Indian

As if FaceApp, the app that allows you to see what you would look like if you were old or of the opposite gender, wasn't weird enough, they've now added a heavy dose of racism to their lineup of horrifying filters.

The online outrage was pretty much immediate, with one crowd arguing "It's just silly fun", and the other, much larger one labeling the app digital blackface.

Photo app FaceApp stirred controversy this week when it announced that it would add new race-based photo filters that would let users change their appearance to make themselves look white, black or Asian. "They don't have any positive or negative connotations associated with them", a representative from FaceApp told Buzzfeed in a statement.

According to Buzzfeed, which did its own experiments with the feature, users who take a selfie and select an ethnicity filter will be left with a resulting image that's been altered in terms of its features and skin tone. Just previous year, Snapchat apologized for adding an offensive Bob Marley selfie filter to its stable.

"The ethnicity change filters have been created to be equal in all aspects", he explained. They are even represented by the same icon.

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With that in mind, here's how Twitter is handling FaceApp's racial new filters.

The "ethnicity change" filters can only be used in conjunction with each other as part of a collage, presumably to show the contrast between the original photo and the race-swapped photos. "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.

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

Despite Goncharov's insistence, some FaceApp users are none too pleased with the new filters, voicing their disagreement and skepticism on Twitter. "It is an unfortunate side-effect of the underlying neural network caused by the training set bias, not intended behavior".

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