Norway Sparks Intense Debate As It Makes It Illegal For Social Media Influencers To Not Label Retouched Photos

Posted by Sama in News On 9th July 2021
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Norway has taken a step ahead in stopping social media influencers from uploading retouched and edited pictures on social media and is in process of making it mandatory to add labels if such pictures are uploaded online. According to Norwegian officials, the measure is taken to help ease body pressure among the young generation and bust the idea of that 'perfect body' where most of the time the pictures are retouched and edited. However, even though most of the officials are supporting the new law the view regarding this new law on social media is divided.

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Norway has introduced new laws against photo editing and retouching. The new law has sparked intense online debate after making it illegal for social media influencers to upload pictures without disclosing whether they have retouched the photograph or not.  

The creative new law passed this month was introduced by Norway's Ministry of Children and Family Affairs in a bid to stop the perpetuation of impossible beauty standards in the country.

Credit: Alamy / Chris Rout
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The majority of the officials supported in favor of the law with 72 voting in favor while only 15 voting against it.

Despite these efforts, it is yet to determine if these laws will be put into action as the King of Norway is yet to decide on the final decision. 

Once this law passes officially, influencers who are making money with their social media accounts would have to publicly disclose if their images are retouched and edited or not and also if they had any cosmetic surgery. 

 

Credit: Alamy / Panther Media GmbH
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Alterations subject to the new law include changes that have been made to a person's body size, shape, skin - prior to the photograph being taken or afterward.

To put it into words, this means that any person who has had cosmetic surgery like lip fillers or breast augmentation has to submit to the new law. 

The government will design a label that immediately lets people know if an image has been retouched. The law will also affect any advertisers who use social media to promote their content.

Influencers and celebrities in Norway have to abide by the new law if they "receive any payment or other benefits" from the content.

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The Independent reports that one survey conducted in 2019 found that viewing pictures of women with cosmetic surgery increased the desire to undergo similar procedures among women aged 18 to 29.

Norway said that it was introducing the measures because "kroppspress" (body pressures) exist in the country.

The ministry said in the proposed amendments to the parliament: "The measure will hopefully make a useful and significant contribution to curbing the negative impact that such advertising has, especially on children and young people."

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The new law comes after the image database site Getty Images announced that it will be banning photographs of retouched models, per Independent.

The same year France also announced new legislation that made it mandatory for magazines to disclose if the images shared are retouched or not.

However, despite the Norwegian officials overwhelmingly supporting this new law, social media has reacted with a mixed response. 

One Twitter user wrote:

"So apparently they made it illegal in Norway for you not to specifically identify editing and touching up photos. wtf ! Lol you literally have to identify if you use the filter or if you did any Photoshop or editing at all [sic]."

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A second added:

"New Norway law mandates social media influencers disclose photo editing when they've retouched or added a filter to a photo. I am okay with this but it will most likely be similar to California's Prop 65 situation, where every photo will have it and people will just ignore it."

Meanwhile, a third Twitter user described the ban as a "much-needed step".

They wrote:

"Much needed step. Photoshop/air brushing/filters have projected unrealistic beauty standards mostly for females contributing to body image issues for them. Kudos to Norway."

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