Instagram bans filters that mimic plastic surgery procedures

24 October 2019 - 12:36 By AFP Relaxnews
'Plastic surgery filters' are being withdrawn to safeguard Instagram users' wellbeing.
'Plastic surgery filters' are being withdrawn to safeguard Instagram users' wellbeing.
Image: 123RF/Dmitry Ageev

In the age of social media, manipulating your selfie with the help of online filters has never been easier — be it adding a cute pair of cat ears, or virtually plumping up your lips or trimming down the size of your nose. But Instagram is clamping down on special effects that mimic the results of cosmetic surgery.

Spark AR, the augmented reality platform behind the filters, took to Facebook recently to announce that it is removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram Effect Gallery and postponing the approval of new effects associated with plastic surgery until further notice.

“We want Spark AR effects to be a positive experience and are re-evaluating our existing policies as they relate to wellbeing,” the company explained.

The move is the latest step taken by Instagram in a bid to safeguard the wellbeing and mental health of its users, in the face of concern about the potentially negative consequences of being exposed to certain content on social media.

Last month, the platform unveiled new guidelines regarding diet and cosmetic surgery-related content, including a new rule stating that social media posts promoting the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures with either a promo code or price will be hidden from users under the age of 18.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” Emma Collins, Instagram's public policy manager, told publications including the Guardian at the time.


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