Internet Time Machine

I’m Deleting Snapchat, and You Should Too

Keep your whitewashed filters

katie zhu
Human Parts
Published in
3 min readAug 11, 2016


This story is part of the Internet Time Machine, a collection about life online in the 2010s.

Snapchat is a prime example of what happens when you don’t have enough people of color building a product.

Yesterday, in the Audacity of Whiteness: Snapchat released a blatantly racist yellowface filter, which excessively slants your eyes, rounds your cheeks, and adds buckteeth for good measure. The company maintains this filter is “anime-inspired.”

Buuuullshit. Anime characters are known for their angled faces, spiky and colorful hair, large eyes, and vivid facial expressions.

Photo: tequilafunrise/Twitter

This is quite literally yellowface, a derogatory and offensive caricature of Asians.

Chin-Kee, a character illustrating this stereotype from Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese.

Snapchat faced a similar controversy less than four months ago, when they thought it was a good idea to create a Bob Marley filter on 420, which gave users dreadlocks and digital blackface.

Even filters that aren’t as overtly offensive subtly reinforce white superiority and reveal a lack of…