Instagram is removing all filters that depict or promote cosmetic surgery. It believes these filters have a negative effect on people’s mental health.
These filters include ones that make your lips bigger, change the shape of your face or make your wrinkles or fine lines disappear. The company says the ban is being implemented to promote wellbeing.
“We’re reevaluating our policies—we want our filters to be a positive experience for people,” said a spokesperson for Instagram. “While we’re reevaluating our policies, we will remove all effects from the gallery associated with plastic surgery, stop further approval of new effects like this and remove current effects if they’re reported to us.”
The move comes after an August update to the app that allowed users to create their own virtual effects that can be superimposed on images and videos. Some popular filters mimicked the effects of cosmetic surgery.
Daniel Mooney, the creator of filter FixMe, which shows how a cosmetic surgeon marked a person’s face before procedures, told BBC that the app was supposed to be a critique of plastic surgery, showing how unglamorous the process is with the markings and bruising.
“My intention was not to show a ‘perfect’ image, as you can see in the final result. Perfection is over-rated.
“I can see where Instagram is coming from, but for as long as some of the most-followed accounts on Instagram are of heavily surgically ‘improved’ people, removing surgery filters won’t really change that much.”