The new filter, which was revealed this week, made users' eyes thinner and and cheeks rosy. Many people tweeted about its offensiveness before the company pulled it from the app. Snapchat told the Verge the filter was meant to be "playful" and was inspired by anime cartoons. According to the report, Snapchat permanently removed the filter.
This isn't the first time Snapchat has caused controversy with an app update. It was criticized in April this year for a filter that used Bob Marley's face as a way to celebrate pot holiday 4/20. That filter, which was apparently developed in connection with the late artist's family estate, was supposed to "[give] people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music," Snapchat said at the time. However many equated it with cultural appropriation and digital blackface.
Beyond its overtly racist filters, Snapchat has also been called out for more subtle discrimination in its technology. As Complex noted earlier this year, most of the filters turn people's skin lighter and whitewashes people of color who use the app. Though the app has now pulled its yellowface feature for good, it's clear it still has some blind spots to address when it comes to cultural sensitivity in tech.