Photo altering app FaceApp pulled their new filters after it was labelled “racist” for allowing users to digitally change their ethnicity.
The popular AI-powered app removed the filters mere hours after their launch. It followed public outcry over the new feature which allowed users to chose from four ethnicities: Asian, Black, Caucasian and Indian.
Yaroslav Goncharov, the founder of the app which has 40 million installs across Android and iOS devices, said the “controversial filters” would be pulled on Wednesday.
Update from FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov: “The new controversial filters will be removed in the next few hours.”
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 9, 2017
Goncharov said “ethnicity change filters” were “designed to be equal in all respects” in a statement to TechCrunch, adding that they “don’t have any positive or negative connotation associated with them.”
RT.com has reached out to FaceApp for comment.
Everyone loves FaceApp, the phone app that adds smiles and wrinkles to your friends’ faces!
We regret to inform you that FaceApp is racist pic.twitter.com/2tRSlcfWdc
— Jennifer Unkle (@jbu3) August 9, 2017
The digital backtrack comes just three months after Goncharov was forced to apologize for a ‘hot’ filter that was deemed racist for lightening users’ skin tone.
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
(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