Instagram bans oft-maligned ‘plastic surgery filters’

Oct. 23 (UPI) — Social photo-sharing platform Instagram said it’s banning all augmented reality filters that feature or advocate cosmetic surgery — a policy update that follows its stated commitments to users’ well-being.

Filters with effects to make people look like they’ve had work done — like lip injections and face-lifts — are no longer permitted. They have been denounced as a negative influence on the way people see themselves — potentially leading them to believe they need cosmetic enhancement.

Facebook-owned Instagram said the ban is effective immediately.

“We’re re-evaluating our policies,” a spokesperson said. “We want our filters to be a positive experience.

“While we’re re-evaluating our policies, we will remove all effects … associated with plastic surgery, stop further approval of new effects like this and remove current effects if they’re reported to us.”

Such filters have drawn criticisms following multiple suicides of teenagers that are in some way connected to Instagram.

Spark AR, which designed the plastic surgery filter, said the tool has been removed from Instagram in accordance with the new policy.

“We want Spark AR effects to be a positive experience and are re-evaluating our existing policies as they relate to well-being,” the company said in a statement.

Spark AR said it will also update its policy on the subject. The company says more than a billion people have used its social filters this year.

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