Google turns off selfie filters on Pixel phones by default due to well-being

Google now disables selfie filters on Pixel phones by default. The company says it does so because the filters could have an impact on mental health. Google also wants to neutrally articulate the filtering options.

According to Google it is now unclear to some users when a selfie filter is turned on on a phone. Multiple experts in children and mental health say to Google that if a user does not know that such a filter is enabled, it can have a negative impact on a user’s mental health. The standard filters would ‘quietly’ create a beauty standard that some would compare to.

This guidelines are important, according to the company, because of the many use of selfies. More than 70 percent of all photos taken with an Android device would be a selfie, Google claims. In Google Photos, 24 billion photos would be marked as selfies. Filters have become increasingly popular in recent years.

In the Camera app of the new Pixel 4a phones and the Pixel 5, the selfie filters are turned off by default. In a yet-to-be-released update, the selfie texts and icons will be replaced by more neutral variants. In addition, users will also learn more about what a selfie filter does. For example, face retouching, means adjusting the skin texture, eye tone and eye brightness. It is not known when this update will come. According to The Verge Google switched on selfie filters by default for the first time when the Pixel 4 was introduced last year.