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

The filter, which lets users give themselves dreadlocks and digital blackface, was launched yesterday - 20 April - a counter culture holiday that celebrates cannabis. 

Snapchat said the filter was created together with the Bob Marley estate.

Marley's name was a top trending topic on Twitter yesterday, with nearly 90,000 mentions as of last night.

But despite the objections of some, others lamented the culture of political correctness.

A Snapchat spokesman said in a 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 non-profit organisation founded by Marley's widow, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.