Snapchat Apologizes for Juneteenth Filter Controversy


Social media platform Snap found itself in a bit of a controversy with its commemoration of the Juneteenth holiday in the United States.

iphone with snapshot logo on screen
Photo by Tim Savage from Pexels.

For those that might not know of the holiday, it is a celebration of the emancipation of the slaves following the United States' Civil War and occurs on June 19th.

To mark the occasion, Snap released a filter that asked users to smile which then “broke” the chains in the background.

The filter was widely mocked and even condemned by some as being tone-deaf at best and offensive at worst.

Snap did remove the filter within hours of its launch, however, and quickly addressed the issue via its social media platforms and with the press.

In a tweet apologizing for the incident, Snap said, “We deeply apologize for the offensive Juneteenth Lens. The Lens that went live hadn’t been approved through our review process. We are investigating so this doesn’t happen again.”

Snap told The Verge, “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.”

Of course, Snap is no stranger to controversy but the speed with which the company addressed this one has won it some praise in the press.

What do you think of the Snapchat filter controversy? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below if you like.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking right here.


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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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