Today, Instagram has announced that they will be banning many of their augmented reality filters that transform users’ faces and mimic plastic surgery. Spark AR, the brand behind lots of augmented reality on their platform, announced on Facebook that they will be removing all effects associated with plastic surgery. Most of the filters on the Instagram Effect Gallery will go through removal. However, the approval of new similar filters until further notice will stop until further notice.
Recently, an update in Instagram has allowed users to create and share their own filters on to the platform. This allows other users to partake in the AR effects they’ve created. Instagram believes that the “plastic surgery” filters could be damaging to their users’ wellbeing. However, most appear to show recovery from procedures, lip fillers, slimming of the nose, and more. This is the latest move by Instagram to protect the physical and mental well-being of their users.
Also, according to Psycom, “one study out of the University of Pittsburgh, for example, found a correlation between time spent scrolling through social media apps and negative body image feedback. Those who had spent more time on social media had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body image concerns. The participants who spent the most time on social media had 2.6 times the risk.”
Facebook’s public policy manager, Emma Collins, has said the following about the current Instagram climate, “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.” According to Insider, Instagram has also recently released an overhaul of its self-harm policy, making those images less visible on the platform. Many of these filters still remain on Instagram. The platform has not removed these yet.
While you’re here, check out how changes to the new Instagram algorithm and API can affect you.