FaceApp became a popular app among users when it transformed your selfies into a younger, older, smiling or frowning version of yourself.
Innocent, until they took it way too far.
Not only did they add the feature of changing your gender, but now, they've added racial filters that are setting the internet alight.
The ethnicity filters morph your face into what the app deems as Asian, Black, Caucasian, and Indian. Which obviously means darkening, lightening skin and changing hair/facial structures to fit stereotypes.
Twitter had a lot to say.
It actually isn't the first time the app did something like this. Mic reports that FaceApp had to remove a “hot” filter which appeared to lighten your skin. The company apologised, calling it an unintended consequence of the app’s technology, rather than a planned feature. Righto.
Yaroslav Goncharov, the CEO of FaceApp, has insisted that the feature isn't offensive, in a statement to Cosmopolitan.com:
“The ethnicity change filters have been designed to be equal in all aspects. 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.”
They explained themselves further to BuzzFeed, saying: “The 'Spark' filter was quite a different case. It implied a positive transformation and therefore, it was unacceptable for an algorithm to implicitly change the ethnicity origin.”
Basically, it's the digital form of blackface or cultural appropriation and we're unsure how the company didn't see this backlash coming...