Instagram has announced the news that it will be banning a number of augmented reality filters that depict plastic surgery or could be seen to promote it, and will stop approval of such filters from the platform.
Over the summer, an update to the app allowed people to create, customise and share their own filters to the platform. Various filters, such as Plastica and Fix Me had previously been active and popular on the app, both mimicking facial surgery. But Instagram now says that they believe filters that appear to show lip fillers, facelifts or other well known cosmetic procedures could be damaging to their users' wellbeing.
Spark AR, the company which creates these filters released a statement to Facebook, saying, "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 that in the meantime they would be, "Removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram effects gallery, and postponing approval of new effects associated with plastic surgery until further notice."
This comes after a survey by The Royal Society for Public Health in 2017 found that Instagram was one of the worst social media for young peoples' mental wellbeing, saying that "social media may be fuelling a mental health crisis" in young people. However, the report also stated that social media can have benefits to self-expression and identity.