Snapchat has removed filters that used filters of sacred Maori tattoos to user’s faces. The filter, which was recently introduced on snapchat, allowed users to temporarily transform their appearance into that of a traditional Māori person. The filter has caused an outcry in New Zealand. Lets dig out more!
Why the filter which was quite famous within the commoners is removed by Snapchat? What are the allegations? To know more, give it a read.
Why is the Maori facing tattoo filter removed by Snapchat?
Ta moko are a taonga, cultural treasure, for the indigenous people of New Zealand and corresponds to wearer’s Maori ancestry.
The Maori filters on Snapchat prompted query over the violation of sacred cultural artefacts on social media platforms. The filters raised additional concerns about the glamour of ephemeral asthetic artefacts related to social media platforms and provoked the question of whether they should strengthen ineligible safeguards in New Zealand.
After a New Zealand-based news reporter raised concerns from the Maori community about the tools, Snap which owns Snapchat, notified the Guardian that it has removed 2 specific filter.
At the time of publishing, the Guardian saw at least ten of these user-made Instagram filters, all of which had names that featured “Mori” or “moko” Instagram’s owner, Meta, did not answer a request for comment.
In an anonymous statement, the business told the Guardian that “we encourage our community to create lenses that are inclusive and any shared on Snapchat must comply with our community guidelines. These make it clear that we forbid content that defames or demeans or encourage prejudice.
Ta moko is solely for Maori’s. One analyst said that since each is tailored to Maori ancestry, several social media users wearing the same filter increased “great disrespect” brought on by the “highly offensive gadgets”.
“The Maori tattoo design ultimately becomes a treasure for that person’s family, and the moko(tattoo) you see represents person’s ancestry and accomplishments”, said Dr. Karaitiana Tairu, an expert on matauranga Maori (maori knowledge) and intellectual property. They are extremely sentimental and priceless.
The wrong or inappropriate moko may be potentially used by social media users: only Maori men have the complete face tattoo, whereas mokokauae, which covers the lips and chain, is intended for women.
The past ten years have seen a revival in the appreciation of Maori work, which has rekindled Maori interest in taking up moko. However, because Maori had previously experienced widespread discrimination for wearing them, Taiuru claimed that using tattoos as a fashion accessory on social media was even less suitable. “I’ve seen in my lifetime people yelled at or assumed to be gang members because they wear a traditional Māori tattoo,” he said.
According to Taiuru, who occasionally advises with businesses that have come under fire, the popularity and awareness of New Zealand’s culture abroad appeared to have sparked a new wave of appropriation, but it was no longer feasible for enterprises there to claim ignorance.
Fashion designers, periodicals, celebrities, and video game developers have all come under fire for using the tattoos without consulting Mori, or on non-Mori wearers.
“I don’t know why, but these social media technologies are ubiquitous and so simple to deploy,” added Taiuru.
The uproar generated concerns about whether Mori taonga (treasures) should have more protection under New Zealand’s intellectual property rules. The Waitangi Tribunal, a body established to settle Mori claims against the Crown resulting from New Zealand’s colonisation, suggested a new legal framework for Mori knowledge and culture in 2011. Its establishment is still being worked on.
All these factors forced Snapchat to remove the Maori face filters. Share your views in the comments below.