Latest in Gear

Image credit: Rob LeFebvre/Engadget

FaceApp changes your race with its latest selfie-editing filters (update)

People got angry.
500 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Rob LeFebvre/Engadget

FaceApp uses neural networks for realistic-looking changes to your selfie photos. Originally, it had filters to add smiles, change your age, change gender or "beautify" your face. Unlike Snapchat's overlays, FaceApp uses deep learning technologies to change the photo itself. Now, a new update adds race to the mix, with an update to enable users to make themselves look Asian, Black, Caucasian or Indian.

There has been some outrage over the new filters, with some Twitter users calling it "digital blackface." This isn't the first time photographic filters have come under fire, of course. Snapchat's 420 Bob Marley filter came under fire for the same lack of racial sensitivity, while its "anime-inspired" lens felt downright racist. FaceApp itself has already faced criticism when it released a "hot" filter that basically just made people look more "white."

The app developer doesn't feel that the new filters are specifically racist, however. "The ethnicity change filters have been designed to be equal in all aspects," Yaroslav Goncharov, the app's CEO and creator, told Engadget in an email. "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."

Update: Goncharov just emailed Engadget with the following: "The new controversial filters will be removed in the next few hours."

Source: iTunes
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
500 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

NASA's InSight lander can finally dig a hole for its Mars heat probe

NASA's InSight lander can finally dig a hole for its Mars heat probe

View
Huawei wants to license its 5G tech to US telecoms

Huawei wants to license its 5G tech to US telecoms

View
Fossil's latest Wear OS watches now make calls using iPhones

Fossil's latest Wear OS watches now make calls using iPhones

View
Toyota will debut its tiny city EV at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

Toyota will debut its tiny city EV at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

View
Adidas readies an entire collection of Star Wars basketball shoes

Adidas readies an entire collection of Star Wars basketball shoes

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr