FaceApp removes ‘racist’ ethnicity filters following complaints

Users branded the filters "problematic", "gross" and even akin to "blackface".

FaceApp has removed its new “ethnicity filters” after some users accused the app of being “racist”.

Since being launched in January, the app has risen to popularity with filters that allow users to make themselves look older or younger, and to add smiles to their faces. Users can also use the app to alter the “gender” of their faces.

Introduced on Wednesday (August 9), the new filters allowed users to modify their face so that it would appear Caucasian, Asian, Indian or Black.

The new filters quickly attracted criticism on Twitter, where users branded them “problematic”, “racist”, “gross” and even akin to “blackface”.

Check out a selection of reactions to the new filters below.

FaceApp initially tried to defend the ethnicity filters from the barrage of controversy, releasing a statement in which they insisted that they had been “designed to be equal in all aspects”.

The company’s chief executive Yaroslav Goncharov said of the new filters: “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.”

However, less than 24 hours after launch, the filters are no longer available on FaceApp.