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Instagram is banning filters that mimic plastic surgery

All selfie, no filter.
All selfie, no filter.

Forget the Instagram filters that give you cat ears or heart eyes or add a chromatic layer to every shot you take. The filters that have been all the rage lately are ones that alter your face in the style of a cosmetic procedure, with contoured cheeks, fuller lips, angled noses, highlighted brow bones — you name it.

But to combat the mental health effects of social-media tools like these, Instagram is removing filters that give the appearance of plastic surgery altogether, including previously similar filters from their Effects Gallery.

A statement from Spark AR, Facebook’s platform for augmented reality development, reads, “We want Spark AR effects to be a positive experience and are re-evaluating our existing policies as they relate to well-being. While this happens, we’re doing the following: Removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram Effect Gallery; postponing approval of new effects associated with plastic surgery until further notice; continuing to remove policy-violating effects as they are identified.”

The hope is this will help combat “Snapchat Dysmorphia,” a phenomenon doctors pegged in 2018 when more and more young patients were coming in asking for plastic surgery to mimic their filtered selfies.

In fact, a recent Current Psychology study found that the more time women (in particular) spend on social media, the more likely they are to want cosmetic surgery.

It’s led to other crackdowns by Instagram, such as banning weight loss and diet-related sponsored content, for example, Kardashian favourite Flat Tummy Tea.

Users can no longer make “miraculous claims” about products (ex. “I lost 20 pounds in two days drinking this detox tea!”), and those under 18 can no longer see posts promoting weight loss or dieting.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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