Snapchat removes Juneteenth filter that asked you to smile to break chains

Snapchat removes Juneteenth filter that asked you to smile to break chains


Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snap Inc.

Adam Galica | CNBC

 Snapchat took down its Juneteenth filter, which prompted users to smile in order to break chains, after being called out by critics for being tone deaf on Friday.

Using the Pan-African flag as the backdrop of the filter, the app prompted users to smile, which then caused chains to appear and break. 

Criticism of the filter spread when Mark Luckie, a digital strategist and former journalist, shared the filter on Twitter, calling it “interesting.” Snapchat’s parent company Snap did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The blunder comes after Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said the company will continue to keep its diversity report private, according to Business Insider. Spiegel said that releasing the data would reinforce the perception that minority groups are underrepresented in the industry.

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. A combination of the words June and nineteenth, the holiday commemorates when an U.S. army general informed enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 that the Civil War had ended and they were free.

The Confederate army had surrendered two months earlier in April and President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years prior, but the abolition of slavery was not enforced in remote Texas until much later. 

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