Snapchat has been forced to apologize for an offensive Juneteenth filter which caused widespread offence because it encouraged users to smile to break some floating chains on the screen.
The tech giant removed the tone-deaf lens that was brought out for the US holiday that celebrates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved.
People instantly took to Twitter to share their thoughts, which were largely negative.
A tweet from Mark S. Luckie gathered widespread attention after he posted a video of how the filter worked.
He wrote: “This Snapchat #Juneteenth filter is…um…interesting. Smile to break the chains? Okay then.”
This SnapChat #Juneteenth filter is…um…interesting.
Smile to break the chains? Okay then. pic.twitter.com/Wyob3kT3ew
— Mark S. Luckie (@marksluckie) June 19, 2020
Snapchat soon responded to the backlash with this tweet: “We deeply apologize for the offensive Juneteenth Lens.
“The Lens that went live hadn’t been approved through our review process.
“We are investigating so this doesn’t happen again.”
This has left many questioning whether Snapchat as a whole has enough diversity.
The filter also showed the Pan-African flag in the background with chains floating above.
Like other Snapchat filters, it relied on augmented reality (AR) to add animation to a users face.
We deeply apologize for the offensive Juneteenth Lens. The Lens that went live hadn’t been approved through our review process. We are investigating so this doesn’t happen again.
— Snapchat (@Snapchat) June 19, 2020