South-Asian matrimonial site Shaadi.com removes ‘color filter’ following outrage
Following the online uproar, Shaadi.com removed the color filter from their site.
Shaadi.com, the popular online south Asian dating, and matrimonial site, promises Asian men and women their forever match. The site is a constant go-to for people hoping to marry. However, last week, hope turned to anger when people started to oppose the color filter available on the site. This color filter helped people pick the preferred skin tone of their potential matches.
Meghan Nagpal, one of Shaadi.com’s users, said:
The people have the option to choose between fair, wheat-ish, and dark. In my opinion, the skin tone is evident from the profile photo. If someone has that bias, they can always look at the picture, but a website should not be promoting that bias.
Meghan Nagpal, along with her friend, Hetal Lakhani, took to twitter and addressed the issue.
— Meghan Nagpal (@MeghanSNagpal) June 3, 2020
It’s okay to filter by the city. It is okay to filter by age. It is okay to filter by the height because you’re looking for a prospective mate, and you want them to match. What is not okay is to mention, ‘what is your skin color?’.
Meghan and Hetal started a petition on Twitter and called out Shaadi.com to remove the filter:
The word spread like wildfire, and many other people started circulating the petition:
— Ke (@orangenial) June 11, 2020
— amirah ᵇˡᵐ (@avcnigreggs) July 10, 2020
The ever so popular dating website https://t.co/IayDQ8NlOa asks people to include the color of their skin in their profile – which is absolute bullshit. Sign the petition below!
— tuhina (@tuhinav) June 10, 2020
Roshni Patel, a supporter of the petition, said:
Back at home in India, many people have the mindset of saying ‘we want our girls married’. If the filter stays, they will put fake biodata to fake their daughter’s image because they would not want them to be associated with a darker skin tone. This wrong mentality has been around for centuries. It is not something new.
Since we do not collect or capture this information on our platform, one cannot filter profiles using this. Hence, this search filter has no implications on matchmaking. That said, the search filter was blind spot from our side and we have removed it.
— Shaadi.com (@ShaadiDotCom) June 11, 2020
Following the uproar, Shaadi.com removed the color filter from their site. The matrimonial site said:
When a user highlighted this, we were thankful and immediately removed the filter, as it was a non-functional aspect of the product. We do not discriminate based on skin color, and our member base is as diverse and pluralistic as the world is today.
People highly appreciated Shaadi.com’s decision to remove the filter:
The skin-color filter on a matrimonial website shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but it’s good to know that https://t.co/rJYjCy0CGD finally realised the racism it has been promoting all these years! Good move @ShaadiDotComhttps://t.co/9BKm8r9udF
— Sherlyn (@SherlynDudeja) June 25, 2020
Super, but these still are first-world solutions against #racism, we have a bigger fight.#johnsonandjohnson stopped its line of skin whitening products on regions including India. #shaadi.com removed the 'skin color' filter earlier used to choose potential partner. pic.twitter.com/PrgcP4bunx
— Chitrangi Agarwal (@Chiaseeds_1209) June 25, 2020
— Meghan Nagpal (@MeghanSNagpal) June 11, 2020
CBC News reported on the matter:
What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.