Instagram will start removing filters from Stories that simulate plastic surgery or other aesthetic procedures. The decision was announced last Friday (18) by Spark AR, augmented reality platform responsible for the creation and approval of effects on the social network. The company is concerned about the impacts of filters on users' self-esteem.
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In a statement posted on Facebook, Spark AR said it is "re-evaluating current welfare policies" and wants the filters to provide a "positive experience". In addition to banning all plastic surgery associated filters from the Instagram Effects Gallery, the company said it will postpone the approval of such effects.
Fix Me filter, which inserts pre-operative marks on users' faces, will be banned from Instagram Stories Photo: Marvin Costa / TechTudo
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In August, Instagram allowed access to the Spark AR Creators tool, previously restricted to celebrities and famous brands, to all users of the social network. Since then, anyone can create and apply filters to Stories publications. It was not long before some rather controversial effects began to emerge, such as "Fix Me", which illustrates the preoperative markings made by plastic surgeons. The filter also allows to simulate bruises that are common in the postoperative period.
Although Spark AR did not design the filter, it approved it for use by billions of users. With the change announced last Friday (18), however, filters that follow the style of "Fix Me" will be banned from the social network. For example, the "Plastic" effect, which enlarges the lips, changes the size of the cheeks and the tip of the nose.
The company said it could not yet set a date for the start of the new policy, but ensured that it would share updates as soon as possible.
The removal of plastic surgery filters is not the first measure taken by Instagram to protect users from harmful self-esteem and mental health content. In August, the social network stipulated new rules to restrict the reach of posts about weight loss products or aesthetic procedures. Users under the age of 18 no longer have access to publications that encourage buying or showing the price of products such as juices, teas, laxative lollipops and other "miraculously" weight loss solutions.
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