Why FaceApp is Problematic
For the past few days, people across all social media platforms have been gleefully posting images depicting an older version of themselves, using an app called ‘FaceApp’. This application uses AI technology to predict the aging process of an individual based on whatever image is loaded into it. This latest social media craze is problematic for many reasons. For one, white people posting photos of their aging faces only serves as a depressing reminder of how long many of them will live. It’s almost as if they are taunting us with the prospect of a future that will always be dominated by white privilege. As I scroll, my feeds appear dominated by the aged faces of white people, a chilling experience for BAME users like myself, who would prefer not to be exposed to this artificially generated dystopian nightmare.
These selfish and narcissistic people spare no thought for the many children with progeria, a premature aging disease which causes its sufferers’ bodies to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Can you imagine being a victim of this debilitating disease, being forced to watch in dismay as ‘Jeremy’ and his friends cheerfully laugh at the fake imagery of themselves covered in wrinkles and grey hair, while they look in the mirror and see their own age-ravaged faces at tender age of 13? It’s so cruel, I could scream.
White people do not understand (or more likely do not care) that they can enjoy these hollow whimsical fads, and then go back to their normal lives, while many of the rest of us are left to deal with the horrifying psychological aftermath their unpleasant pastime has created.
Another (and undoubtedly more sinister) feature of FaceApp is the ability to apply a filter that changes the gender identity of the person in the photograph. Now, I should not really need to say this, but this renders FaceApp as nothing more than a hateful appropriation of the genderflux community and it is NOT OK.
Many people out there live with Genderflective genderflux on a day-to-day basis. It is a real and often debilitating condition for many demigender, agender, genderfluid individuals and mulitviduals. For those who have never experienced genderflux-abnormalities, these definitions of common flux-related elements may make things a little clearer:
Genderflective: a state of non-tangible gender identity in which one assumes the gender traits of whomever they are presently interacting with.
Genderflux: to experience a prolonged state of identity shift, fluctuating between two, three, possibly multiple gender identities which can increase in rapidity to the point of complete mental gender-erasure for the individual, which can be hugely distressing.
Non-Gendertuitiveness: this can occur when the affected individual is unable to detect which gender they are currently aligning to. The result of this is a feeling of binary detachment which, in the worst cases, can lead to a permanent loss of gender awareness and induce potentially subreactive pronormatives, which as you can imagine, would be beyond terrifying for the individual affected!
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