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Snapchat under fire for ‘racist’ Bob Marley filter

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Update 4/20 10:54 a.m.: Snapchat issued a statement about the filter, quoted in full below.

Today is April 20 (also known as 420), a date of special significance for people who enjoy cannabis in any of its formsSnapchat, which has a new selection of face-altering filters every day, jumped on the bandwagon by offering a “Bob Marley” filter. 

The problem? A lot of people think the filter is offensive and racist. 

SEE ALSO: Snapchat is now the most popular social network among teens, according to new study

The way the filter works is it adds a Bob Marley cap and dreadlocks to your face, and it makes your skin tone darker. 

For many, that’s a bit too reminiscent of blackface or painting your face black to represent a black person. Blackfacing was used a lot in U.S. theater in the 19th century, but has been abandoned in modern times and is widely considered to be a racist act or, at the very least, insensitive. 

As you might imagine, the Bob Marley filter was recognized by many folks as inappropriate, with some Twitter users calling it “digital blackfacing.” Read more…

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