Instagram bans filters with ‘plastic surgery’ effect

The Independent Lifestyle 1 month ago

Instagram face filters that allow users to make it look as though they have undergone plastic surgery are to be removed, it has been announced.

Spark AR, the augmented reality platform that creates the filters, released a statement announcing the update on Facebook.

The company said it is re-evaluating its “existing policies as they relate to well-being”, saying that they want those who use Spark AR effects to have a “positive experience”.

The firm stated it is “removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram Effect Gallery”, in addition to “postponing approval of new effects associated with plastic surgery until further notice”.

“At this time, we’re not able to provide exact timing on the new policy rollout, but we’ll share updates as soon as we can,” the statement added.

Several Twitter users praised the decision for cosmetic surgery-themed face filters to be removed from Instagram.

“Instagram banning plastic surgery-like filters is the best news I’ve heard in a while,” one person wrote.

“Filters can be fun, but they can also adversely affect the way you see yourself when you look in the mirror without them,” another added.

According to Spark AR, more than one billion people have used its face-alteration filters across social media in the past year.

Filters are a core part of Instagram, but there are so many available it can be easy to get lost. You can change the order in which they appear, and even hide the ones you never use, to speed up your photo-sharing process. On the filters page, scroll to the end, tap Manage, then drag and drop the ones you want to reorder, and un-check the ones you want to hide.
Instagram controversially ditched its reverse-chronological order feed for a new order determined by an algorithm, making it easy to completely miss some posts. To make sure you never miss a certain somebody’s updates, you can set up notification for them by visiting their profile, tapping the three dots in the top right-hand corner and selecting Turn On Post Notifications.
If you’re worried about how much of your mobile data Instagram saps, you can limit it by sacrificing the speed at which the photos and videos in your feed load. Go to your profile, tap the three dots in the top right corner, open Cellular Data Use and choose Use Less Data.
It’s easy to lose track of your friends’ old posts on Instagram, but if you know you Liked it, you’ll be able to track it down easily. Just go to your profile, hit the three dots at the top and select Posts You’ve Liked. You can also save posts in a folder only you can see by tapping the bookmark icon underneath it. Take a look at everything you’ve bookmarked by tapping the same icon that sits near the top of your profile.
Everyone knows you can expand the reach of your posts by using a number of relevant hashtags, but what those are aren’t always glaringly obvious. You can easily find the right ones for you by typing a keyword into Instagram’s search bar, selecting a hashtag from the list and swiping along the Related row that appears at the top of the screen.
Whatever your reasons are, you can clear your recent searches by going to your profile, hitting the three dots in the top right and selecting Clear Search History. To go a step further and hide your Suggested searches too, go to the search page, tap and hold the account you want to hide, and choose Hide from the pop-up window.
Tagged photos on Instagram aren’t as prominent as they are on Facebook, but anyone can still browse through other people’s pictures of you by visiting your profile and tapping the photo of you icon. If you’re tagged in a picture you don’t want other people to see, go to your profile, hit the photos of you icon, tap the three dots at the top of the screen and choose Hide Photos.
Make your Instagram account much harder to hack by enabling two-factor authentication, a security feature that protects you even if your login details are stolen. Go to your profile, tap the three dots, open Two-Factor Authentication and toggle it on.
If you want to upload a bunch of related pictures and videos without flooding everyone else’s feed, you can shared them all as one post. Hit the + icon, select Gallery, choose Select Multiple, pick out up to 10 of the pictures and clips you want, tap Next and reorder them by dragging and dropping.
Instagram Stories has been a massive hit since it came out last year, but you might not know that you can record Stories clips without having to hold one of your digits on the record key. On the Stores screen, just swipe through the options at the bottom until you get to Hands-Free.
Most people know you can delete any of the images you’ve already posted, but not everyone is aware that you can also edit them. Instagram unfortunately doesn’t let you tinker with filters and effects, but you can change your original caption, tag people and update the location.

In August 2018, a study published in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery found that face filters on apps are leading to a phenomenon called “Snapchat dysmorphia”.

Dr Neelan Vashi, director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Centre, explained that “patients are seeking out surgery to help them appear like the filtered versions of themselves”.

“Filtered selfies especially can have harmful effects on adolescents or those with BDD [body dysmorphic disorder] because these groups may more severely internalise this beauty,” the scientist added.

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It was recently reported that advertisements for weight loss brands featured on the Instagram accounts of several reality television stars had been banned after being deemed irresponsible.

The Advertising Standards Authority found that posts shared by Katie Price, Lauren Goodger and Georgia Harrison that promoted weight loss products were in breach of rules around health claims.

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