Corporate brands embarrassing themselves when it comes to Black history is nothing new, but when you factor in the tech sector's near universal anti-blackness due to an appaling lack of black employees and complete absence of black decision-makers, you get absolutely moronic crap like this.
Snapchat apologized for its now-removed Juneteenth filter, telling CNBC on Friday that it went live without being approved through its review process.
Using the Pan-African flag as the backdrop of the filter, the app prompted users to smile, which then caused chains to appear behind them and break.
“We deeply apologize to the members of the Snapchat community who found this Lens offensive. A diverse group of Snap team members were 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 Snap spokesperson told CNBC in a statement.
Criticism of the filter spread when Mark Luckie, a digital strategist and former journalist, shared the filter on Twitter, calling it “interesting.”
This SnapChat #Juneteenth filter is...um...interesting.— Mark S. Luckie (@marksluckie) June 19, 2020
Smile to break the chains? Okay then. pic.twitter.com/Wyob3kT3ew
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.
I can't think of an industry sector that is more openly antagonistic, unrepentant, and outright racist towards Black America than Silicon Valley right now, even more so than banking or real estate, and that's only because banking and real estate face federal housing and financial civil rights regulations.
Tech does not. They can be as awful as they want to be, and often are.