Tuesday, 27 September, 2022
E-paper

Snapchat removes Maori tattoo filters after outcry

Social media platform Snapchat has removed a feature which allowed users to apply traditional Maori tattoos on their faces.

The filters were pulled after their discovery prompted an outcry in New Zealand's indigenous Maori community.

Maoris consider tattoo art as sacred, and it is taken as an important marker of the wearer's identity.

The move follows local media reports that the filters were proliferating on social media.

Radio New Zealand showed images of users applying filters with names like "Maori Face Tattoo" and "Maori" on popular platform Instagram.

A statement from Snap, which owns the Snapchat platform, confirmed that the filter and a duplicate had been removed from their platform.

Snapchat filters, which the company refers to as Lenses, uses open-source software Looksery that allows users to modify their features in real time. Lenses are user-generated and can be freely shared and used by others on the platform.