Snapchat updates their facial recognition filters almost every day, with today’s being particularly apt.
Bob Marley Snapchat filter – setting a bad example?
The filter Snapchat added today allows you to become Bob Marley, complete with reggae hat, dreds and No Woman No Cry playing in the background. This is all a bit of fun in given the date; 4/20. Not everyone has seen the humourous side, with some going as far as saying it’s effectively a modern day take on a “blackface”.
— Ant Meads (@austerityrecs) April 20, 2016
“Blackfacing” was a practice where white actors would wear black makeup to play black parts in theatre. Others have gone beyond these claims, believing the filter encourages smoking of marijuana, illegal in most parts of the world. This in no way shines a negative light on Marley, who did smoke regularly, making no effort to hide this. So what has this got to do with Bob Marley and the filter?
What’s special about 4/20
Well the date is relevant for a random enough reason.For those of you that aren’t aware of 4/20, it’s basically an international holiday. It started by a group of California High school students meeting every day and twenty past four to smoke weed and soon the trend spread. Eventually 4:20 became 420, then 4/20, and so a national holiday was born. The popularity of the date grew so much that the State of Colorado was forced to replace its 420 mile sign with a 419.9 as marijuana enthusiasts kept stealing the original.
And what better way to celebrate the legend that is Bob Marley than lighting up on a day he would have relished in his time and celebrated like the rest of us.
Is the Bob Marley Snapchat filter disrespectful?
In my opinion, the filter is neither disrespectful nor is it harmful. Those who celebrate 4/20 were likely to do so regardless of a filter, and the filter allows Snapchatters to engage in some harmless banter. It’s important to recognise in all of this, the Marley estate actually gave their blessing to Snapchat to make the filter public.
What do you think? Let us know below.