Snap stirred online furor after it released a weird and distasteful Juneteenth filter that asked users to smile and break on-screen chains. Soon after it was released, many Snapchat users took to social media and complained that the filter was offensive and ridiculous considering what Juneteenth truly stands for and its significance. Here’s the filter in action:
Soon after the outrage, Snap pulled the filter and tweeted an apology to users, claiming that the filter was not approved by the company’s review process prior to its release. The company assured that it is internally investigating the matter so that such incidents are not repeated in the future.
A source familiar with the matter told The Verge that a majority of the team responsible for creating a Snapchat Lens (or filter) is based in Ukraine, so they may not have been aware of its cultural impact and how it will be received by users.