If you like using cosmetic filters on Instagram that make it appear you’ve had cosmetic surgery, you’re going to have to get your filters from another site. Instagram, owned by Facebook, just announced this week that hey will be banning all filters that promote major cosmetic changes.
The move comes after concern that users feel worse about themselves after using the filters and that Instagram is not promoting a healthy mental state for the millions that scroll and post in the app every day.
Has Instagram gone too far with their policing of users’ posts, or is this a good first step to changing social media culture?
According to a statement on Facebook, any filters that make users look like they have had any type of “cosmetic” or elective surgery will be banned.
This includes filters that look like you’ve had a facelift, lip injections, or any kind of fillers.
These filters never used to exist, but in August of this year, Instagram added a feature in which users could create their own filters. You can do custom animations, graphics, or… yes, even cosmetic updates that could be superimposed onto images or even videos.
FixMe is a popular Instagram filter that allows users to look at their faces marked up as if a plastic surgeon was in the room dictating their surgical needs. Plastica has been used over 200 million times and allows users to mimic the lips and eyes to match Amanda Lepore, a famous model.
You know the Lepore look, even if you just had to Google her name – big lips, sultry eyes, flawless skin…
The company that handles Instagram’s custom filters, Spark AR, said that there is no “time frame” to when exactly these filters will be banned, but they’re working through them now. All cosmetic filters pending approval will also be denied.
While many users have welcomed the ban – calling the filters toxic and tweeting that some people who constantly use these filters have “deeper” issues at play – many others are frustrated that Instagram is tightly policing what content they can access.
Social media giant Facebook, who owns Instagram, has come under a lot of pressure in the past few years for celebrating and promoting an idealized lifestyle that has put many users in a bad mental place.
One cosmetic surgeon called it “Snapchat dysmorphia”, where someone comes into her office looking to be turned into the filtered version of themselves. Millions of people post pictures with at least a light filter every day, removing blotchy skin, undereye bags, or smoothing makeup.
But Instagram is concerned that this is creating a new generation who don’t think they are good enough as-is, and could continue to harm mental health. This is one of many steps that the platform is taking to try and promote a healthier, and more realistic, culture.
Only time will tell if it will help the social media platform, or if this is the first step to its downfall.