South-Asian matrimonial site Shaadi.com removes ‘color filter’ following outrage

Following the online uproar, Shaadi.com removed the color filter from their site.

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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.

Lakhani said:

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:

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.

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:

CBC News reported on the matter:

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