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Google says selfie retouching can negatively impact mental wellbeing

By Prakhar Khanna October 2, 2020, 12:45 am
Pixel 4a

Filters popularity has rapidly increased over the past few years. Almost every OEM is offering you filters to play around with. However, sometimes, filters are turned on by default in the photo apps without your knowledge. According to Google, these default filters can quietly set a beauty standard that some people compare themselves against. Hence, it is changing how it handles selfies with its newest phones. The company will turn face retouching off by default from the Camera app for its Pixel 4a, 4a 5G and Pixel 5.

“We conducted multiple studies and spoke with child and mental health experts from around the world, and found that when you’re not aware that a camera or photo app has applied a filter, the photos can negatively impact mental wellbeing,” said Google in a blogpost. Now, people will get to choose if and when their appearance is changed in pictures. “If face retouching filters are on, this should be clearly indicated in the product experience.”


With the new range of Pixel phones, selfie retouching options are available in the camera app, but turned off by default. Moreover, Google will update the phones to relabel the retouching options and avoid judging words, like “beauty.” You’ll see value-free, descriptive icons and labels for face retouching options. Further, on selecting face retouching effects, you’ll see more information about how each setting is applied and what changes it makes to your image.

It is not clear if and when these settings will roll out for older gen Pixel phones.


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