Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
You are here: Home / Digital Life / FaceApp To Pull 'Racist' Filters
FaceApp Forced To Pull 'Racist' Filters After Outrage
FaceApp Forced To Pull 'Racist' Filters After Outrage
By Alex Hern Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
Popular AI-powered selfie program FaceApp was forced to pull new filters that allowed users to modify their pictures to look like different races, just hours after it launched it.

The app, which initially became famous for its features that let users edit images to look older or younger, or add a smile, launched the new filters around midday on Wednesday. They allowed a user to edit their image to fit one of four categories: Caucasian, Asian, Indian or Black.

Users rapidly pointed out that the feature wasn't particularly sensitively handled: technology site The Verge described it as "tantamount to a sort of digital blackface, 'dressing up' as different ethnicities," while TechCruch said the app "seems to be getting a little too focused on races rather than faces."

The company initially released a statement arguing that the "ethnicity change filters" were "designed to be equal in all aspects."

"They don't have any positive or negative connotations associated with them," the company's chief executive Yaroslav Goncharov said. "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 by 5pm on the same day, FaceApp apparently agreed with the criticism, pulling the new filters from its app.

It's not even the first time the app has waded into this storm. In April, it came under fire for its "hot" filter, which was supposed to make users look more attractive. In the process, it also lightened their complexion, leading to uncomfortable questions about what the AI had been taught about the nature of beauty.

It isn't only small applications which make these blunders. Snapchat faced similar opprobrium for a filter which made users look like late reggae singer Bob Marley, replete with cartoon dreadlocks and a cap; what's more, the filter was released on 20 April 2016, a day ("4/20") known for its association with weed culture -- leading to accusations the company was cheapening Marley's legacy.

© 2017 Guardian Web under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

Image credit: FaceApp/iTunes.

Tell Us What You Think


Greg Tremblay:
Posted: 2017-08-10 @ 8:58pm PT
Equal fun for all
SJ Warriors are so thick

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
© Copyright 2017 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.