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Snapchat unveiled a Bob Marley filter to celebrate 420 — and things went horribly wrong

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A new filter on messaging app Snapchat that allows users to look like the late reggae singer Bob Marley sparked a backlash on social media on Wednesday, with many on Twitter calling it racially insensitive.

The filter, which lets users to give themselves dread locks and digital blackface, was launched on April 20, a counterculture holiday that celebrates cannabis. Snapchat said the filter was created together with the Bob Marley estate.

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Marley’s name was a top trending topic on Twitter, with nearly 90,000 mentions as of Wednesday afternoon.

Donie O’Sullivan (@donie), an editor at News Corp’s Storyful, a self-styled social media news agency, said in a post on Twitter, “Woah. Isn’t the Bob Marley Snapchat 420 filter essentially blackface?”

Hope King (@lisahopeking), a tech reporter at CNN Money, tweeted, “Snapchat Bob Marley lens works terrifyingly well … partly why the outcome is so enraging.”

Abby Nierman (‏@abbyybba) tweeted: “I’m confused as to how the Bob Marley @Snapchat filter made it through all stages of development without someone saying ‘um no.'”

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Others lamented the culture of political correctness. Dudley ‏(@NickWinchester9) said, “This Bob Marley snapchat filter. Yet again, we can’t do anything without people calling everything racist.”

A Snapchat spokesman said in an emailed statement, “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.”

The Rita Marley Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Marley’s widow, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)


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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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