"We want our filters to be a positive experience for people."
Since Instagram allowed users to create their own filters and animations back in August, the platform has been flooded with lots of weird and wonderful effects.
The most popular of these have been the ones that inflate your lips and cheeks, giving the appearance of rather extreme fillers or a facelift.
While it might be just a bit of craic for us, Instagram doesn’t agree – they’ve decided to remove all filters that mimic plastic surgery out of concern for users’ mental health.
Last year, doctors from the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Centre said that filters like these could worsen symptoms for people with or at risk for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) – and cosmetic surgeons have reported a rise in patients wanting to look like their filtered selfies.
“We want our filters to be a positive experience for people,” said a spokesperson for Instagram.
While we’re re-evaluating 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 Dublin-based maker of the popular ‘FixMe’ filter, which shows your face marked for cosmetic procedures, can see where Instagram is coming from with the ban, but thinks they have bigger fish to fry.
“FixMe was only ever supposed to be a critique of plastic surgery, showing how unglamorous the process is with the markings and bruising,” Daniel Mooney told the BBC. “As long as some of the most-followed accounts on Instagram are of heavily surgically ‘improved’ people, removing surgery filters won’t really change much.”
This change follows Instagram’s ban on posts promoting diet and ‘detox’ products in the hopes of “reducing the pressure” that people can feel as a result of social media.