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Snapchat removes racist Juneteenth Lens, says that it wasn't approved


This past Friday, June 19th, the U.S. recognized Juneteenth. It is a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States. In the wake of the social protests that took place in the U.S. following the murder of George Floyd, no U.S. company was spared for any branding or product that could be considered insensitive in terms of race. That is why products like Mrs. Butterworth, Uncle Ben’s, and other iconic brands are being replaced.

According to Reuters, a major faux pas was committed by messaging app Snapchat which was forced to remove a racially insensitive Lens it created for Juneteenth. The filter showed the Pan-African flag in the background and prompted users to smile. This would lead to the image of a chain appearing in the background; the chain would then break. A spokesman from Snapchat parent Snap said in a statement, “We deeply apologize to the members of the Snapchat community who found this Lens offensive. A diverse group of Snap team members was involved in developing the concept, but a version of the Lens that went live for Snapchatters this morning had not been approved through our review process. We are investigating why this mistake occurred so that we can avoid it in the future.”

A Twitter user by the name of Mark S. Luckie diseeminated a tweet revealing what the Lens looked like before it was removed. Snapchat Lens use augmented reality (AR) to add animation to a photo of the user’s face. For example, a Snapchat user can turn into a dog with droopy cartoon ears and a nose. Or, the user can turn into a dancing bunny. There isn’t anything offensive about those (unless you reallyare a dog or a rabbit).



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