The options under the filter are: white, black, Asian, and Indian.
While the app itself has been popular for giving users the ability to play with the age and gender of their photos, this new filter has many people crying foul, pointing out that this could is essentially digital blackface.
(FaceApp board meeting)
"Our app is popular."
"What if it could be more popular?"
(Everyone leans in)
"Get this: racism."
— Good Tweetman (@Goodtweet_man) August 9, 2017
However, Yaroslav Goncharov, the app’s CEO and creator, seems to think that the backlash is entirely misplaced, arguing that the app isn’t saying that one race is better or worse than the other and noting that even the icons are all alike for its filter.
“The ethnicity change filters have been designed to be equal in all aspects,” he explained. “They don’t have any positive or negative connotations associated with them. They are even represented by the same icon. In addition to that, the list of those filters is shuffled for every photo, so each user sees them in a different order.”
But that isn’t stopping the internet from letting FaceApp have it, clamoring for the filter to be taken off of the app and charging the company with blatant racism for putting it out in the first place.
HOLY SHIT did Faceapp (the app with a "hot" filter which lightens your skin) seriously just add a blackface mode?? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK pic.twitter.com/HNazTkL45v
— moth dad (@innesmck) August 9, 2017
Wow… FaceApp really setting the bar for racist AR with its awful new update that includes Black, Indian and Asian "race filters" pic.twitter.com/Lo5kmLvoI9
— Lucas Matney (@lucasmtny) August 9, 2017
Can someone tell me why the app FaceApp has launched racial filters??? Wrong on so many levels. pic.twitter.com/TkAVpXTm3y
— cass (@cassidysholmes) August 9, 2017
Erm, no, FaceApp. Don't do this. pic.twitter.com/d9gZpD9CY3
— Roonil Wazlib ? (@beggie_smalls) August 9, 2017