Shaadi.com, an Asian marriage website has done away with a skin tone filter after it was met with online backlash, according to a report in The BBC. The same report states that a petition to do the same was started by Hetal Lakhani from Dallas, USA. Her decision was informed by the ongoing anti-racism protests that have engulfed different parts of the globe.
Prior to this, those who joined the website were asked to select from the ‘skin tone’ ranging from dark or light. The report further adds that this feature influenced their subsequent search for prospective partners. However, Shaadi.com now maintains that the filter allegedly did not work and matches of all skin tones came up in searches.
The BBC report also cites the experience of user Meghan Nagpal, who was on the website to find a potential partner. “I emailed them (shaadi.com) and one representative said this is a filter required by most parents,” she was quoted as saying to the BBC Asian Network. It was after Nagpal shared it on a Facebook group that Lakhani came to know of it. “When Meghan shared this on our group I was really shocked because a company usually has a social responsibility,” she was quoted as saying.
The petition that was initiated to effect a change garnered support of 1,500 signatures in 14 hours. After the issue was raised on Twitter, Shaadi.com responded saying it was a “blindspot” and the filter subsequently was removed overnight. “I have my bachelors, I have my masters. But if a skin tone can take that away from me – that would be the worst,” Lakhani concluded.
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