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Google encourages phone makers to run beauty filter off by default

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In a blog post, Google shared that it will be giving new Pixel phone users more controls and transparency for their selfies.
Google encourages phone makers to run beauty filter off by default
File photo of  a phone with beauty mode turned on by default


Studies show that "Beauty" filters can have a negative effect on mental health

Most smartphones today offers beauty filters for selfies to smoothen and remove blemishes in our face. But, pixel cameras won't use them anymore by default.
Pixel's face retouching feature
Pixel's face retouching feature


Why? Google conducted multiple studies and spoke with chile and mental health experts around the world and they discovered that when you're not aware that a camera or photo app has applied a filter, the photos can negatively impact mental health wellbeing.

The said default beauty filters can quietly set a beauty standard that some people compare themselves against.

In response to this, Google created a framework to build and design products that support wellbeing and intentional relationship with technology.

These people-centered guidelines inform and respect your personal choices regarding face retouching and center around control, transparency, and design language. This means you should get to choose if and when your appearance is changed in pictures.

Google now suggests that face retouching settings should be off by default so you can choose when you want to turn them on and it should be clearly indicated if the filter is turned on.

Previously, face retouching on Pixel phones is switched to "Subtle" by default. It is the beauty selfie setting in-between "OFF" and "Smooth."

Google won't remove the face retouching options, but it will be turned off by default starting with the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5.

Google is also encouraging other phone makers (OEMs) to do the same.

To date, Google's data revealed that 70 percent of photos taken on an Android device use the front-facing camera and over 24 billion photos have been labeled as selfies in Google Photos.

Source: Google
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