Norway Makes Not Labeling Retouched Photos On Social Media Illegal
New regulations in Norway are pushing back against unrealistic beauty standards on social media platforms in an effort to curb body dysmorphia in the country.
Amendments to the 2009 Marketing Act make it illegal for influencers to share retouched photos of their body in promotional posts on social media, without acknowledging the image has been edited.
To many, the law is a welcome step in the right direction, but as platforms such as Instagram and TikTok continue to grow in users and become increasingly commercialised, is it enough?
According to the amendments made by the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Family Affairs and passing with a sizeable 72 to 15 votes in government, advertisements with alterations to a body’s size, shape, or skin will need to be marked with a standardised label designed by the Ministry.
It also directly implicates celebrities and influencers who “receive any payment or other benefit” from a post on social media.
These changes will not only cover images where lips, waistlines, and muscles are exaggerated after the photo is taken but also those created with a filter in place.
Violations of the law will face escalating fines, with extreme cases potentially facing imprisonment.
The hope is the enforcement of a label will create more clarity about where a body image being presented is fake, maybe even putting advertisers and creators off from retouching their photos in the first place.
However, the Ministry does recognise that the law may be difficult to enforce since it’s not always easy to tell when an image has been edited.
Another issue raised by the law is that it’s also unclear whether adjustments to lighting or saturation in photos will be considered a violation.
Though both are common techniques used in photography they can sometimes be used to lighten models’ skin tones and feed into ideas of whiteness.
Nonetheless, the bill has received widespread support from Norway’s influencer community with several saying it brings a sense of reality to the idea of unattainable bodies while also keeping filters from becoming problematic.