Users are accusing Snapchat of being racially insensitive thanks to a new Bob Marley filter that made its debut today, April 20, also commonly referred to as “4/20.”
It isn’t the subject of the filter that has users infuriated – everyone loves Bob Marley, after all – but rather, that it’s serving as “digital blackface,” as Engadget put it. Snapchat thinks it’s a harmless filter and said it was generated, primarily, to celebrate 4/20 and Bob Marley’s life.
“The lens we launched today was created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate, and gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music,” Snapchat told Engadget. “Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley’s music, and we respect his life and achievements.”
The filter comes amid concerns that the tech industry isn’t as diverse as it could be, which adds an additional level of frustration to the publication of today’s filter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pulled, we’ll see.