The rise of fake beauty
An ominous part of social media apps like TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram is the proliferation of beauty filters, which subtly and realistically make you look more attractive.
- Think fuller lips, thinner faces, lighter eyes and even the appearance of makeup.
Why it matters: These filters promote a certain beauty standard — and can quickly erode someone's sense of self-worth and confidence, especially when it comes to young people.
Case in point: Beauty filters are usually a choice — users can switch them on and off. But a recent bug on TikTok left users stuck on a beautifying effect, MIT Tech Review senior editor Abby Ohlheiser reports.
- The filter, which couldn't be switched off for some days, was forcibly altering people's appearances when they made videos. TikTok eventually addressed the bug.
- But, as Ohlheiser notes, even a temporary glitch can cause great psychological harm when an app has 1 billion users.
The big picture: If someone looks even a few percentage points better, they can get hooked on apps and filters, experts say.