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Instagram bans cosmetic surgery filters

Instagram bans cosmetic surgery filters

Instagram has made another move in an attempt to (reportedly) improve mental welfare for its users. Filters that lift cheeks, chisel jawbones, bulge lips, and otherwise promote the look of surgical procedures will soon be removed from the platform, writes Mala McAlpin.

The company responsible for Instagram’s filters, Spark AR, made the announcement via their Facebook page last week, saying that it will be removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram Effect Gallery, postponing approval of new effects associated with plastic surgery until further notice, and continuing to remove policy-violating effects as they are identified.

“We want Spark AR effects to be a positive experience and are re-evaluating our existing policies as they relate to well-being,” reads the post. The exact timing on the changes has yet to be confirmed.

Users will still have access to fantasy-style filters like puppy ears and abnormally long eyelashes. The ban has been put in place to target face-altering filters specifically, like the Plastica filter which provides an instant brow lift and augmented lips, along with more obvious plastic surgery-related filters like the now-deleted ‘Fix Me’ which applied pre-surgery pen markings to users’ faces that read ‘lift’ and ‘fix me’.

This is a big win for the medical aesthetics industry, with such prevalence around ‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’ and the influence of social media driving patients to seek procedures to make them look like their social media filters.

This isn’t the first effort made by Instagram to combat the promotion of unrealistic beauty and lifestyle standards. The removal of like numbers on posts that was instated several months ago (with mostly positive feedback from the wider community) still remains, and last month it was announced that the platform would be restricting content relating to weight loss promotion would be restricted to those 18 and above.

Posts promoting the “use of certain weight loss products or cosmetic procedures, and has an incentive to buy or includes a price,” will simply not be seen by those whose accounts list them as below 18.

In addition, content that “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code” will not be allowed at all.

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