Instagram is banning photo filters which make people look like they’ve had cosmetic surgery.
Filters which boost the size of people’s lips or mimic facelifts will no longer be allowed on the app.
The company said it wanted filters to be a ‘positive experience’ and that it was making the move to protect users’ mental health.
It comes just months after the Facebook-owned app launched a tool in August which allowed people to share their own superimposed effects in the app’s ‘story’ function.
Scrolling along to the far right of the face filters, people could look in the ‘Browse effects’ section and find those created by other users, among them ones which augmented the person’s face to look like they’d had surgery.
Some of the augmented reality filters transformed images to make it appear as though the person was undergoing a facelift, with lines drawn across their face, while others depicted fillers and lip injections.
Instagram said any related effects submitted to its Spark AR Hub will no longer be approved and current filters being reported will also be taken down.
‘We’re re-evaluating our policies – we want filters to be a positive experience for people,’ a spokesman said.
Senior Instagram executives told MPs in May that the firm would pay closer attention to appearance-changing photo filters over concerns about the impact they may have on people’s body image.
The company’s head of product, Vishal Shah, said: ‘I think that body image is a really important topic, broadly speaking, not just on Instagram, and this is something that we are taking really seriously, especially in some of the research we are doing.’
The social network has been under increased scrutiny following a number self-harm incidents, notably Molly Russell.
Molly was a 14-year-old who took her own life in November 2017 after viewing disturbing material online.
Her family believe harmful content on social media was a contributory factor after finding material relating to depression and suicide on her accounts, and have called for tech firms to be held to account.