France has taken a big step towards protecting social media users from the psychological harms caused by influencers promoting cosmetic surgery on their platforms. The lower chamber recently passed a bill that would make it mandatory for influencers to label images that have been altered with filters or photoshop, while banning them from promoting cosmetic surgery. The bill will now move to the Senate, where it is expected to be adopted without much opposition.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire proposed the bill to limit the destructive psychological effects that these practices can have on social media users. Breaches of the strict regulation could result in hefty fines of up to $32,515 (€30,000) and even jail time of up to two years. Influencers found guilty will also be prohibited from using social media or continuing their careers on the platforms.
Mr. Le Maire emphasized that the regulations were not a “fight” against influencers or a way to stigmatize them. Rather, they are a system to protect both influencers and consumers. France has been proactive in cracking down on harmful cultural standards, having passed a law in 2017 requiring that photoshopped bodies be called out.
This latest France bill could signify the end of the FaceTune and “BBL Baddie” Era as we know it, at least for France. With a “zero-tolerance approach” to those who do not respect the rules, the French government is leading the way in protecting the mental health of social media users.