Search icon


20th Apr 2016

Snapchat’s latest filter has been described as “offensive”, “racist” and done in “poor taste”

Cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation?


Come on Snapchat, don’t ruin a perfectly good holiday.

April 20th – or 4/20 – is a marijuana commemoration day that’s marked annually by students, stoners, and hungry people worldwide.

This year Snapchat got in on the 4/20 action with a feature that has not gone down well.

The social media app has installed an official ‘Bob Marley’ filter for the day – leading to accusations that it’s racially insensitive by encouraging the use of blackface.

The confusion has fooled many into believing that today is Bob Marley’s birthday (it isn’t), while others are angry that it’s tarnishing the legacy of the iconic musician.

A Snapchat spokesperson told The Next Web:

“The lens we launched today was created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate, and gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music. Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley’s music, and we respect his life and achievements.”

Be that as it may, it seems there’s a fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation:

This article first appeared on