It’s now illegal to share edited images in Norway without disclosing it first
01st Jul 2021
Advertisers and influencers over in Norway will now have to disclose when a photo has been edited thanks to a newly introduced law that makes it illegal not to do so.
Making giant steps forward in the fight against unrealistic beauty/body ideals, Norway has just passed a new law requiring advertisers to disclose when an image has been retouched on social media.
Voting overwhelmingly in favour of the motion (72 to 15 votes) earlier this month, Norway’s parliamentary body – Stortingent – passed the new legislation which will make it illegal for advertisers to share images without acknowledging that bodies have been edited first.
According to amendments made to the 2009 Marketing Act, the legislation will also apply to influencers and celebrities when sharing images for which they have received any “payment or other benefit” on social media. Covering images where a body’s shape, size, or skin has been altered in any way – even through a filter – all relevant photos will need to be marked with a standardised label designed by the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. Fail to do so and advertisers/influencers could face a very sizeable fine and even imprisonment in extreme cases.
Put forth in an effort to lessen body dysmorphia and “kroppspress” – the literal translation of which is “body pressure” – the Ministry hopes that the new legislation will “make a useful and significant contribution to curbing the negative impact that such advertising has, especially on children and young people.”
Recognising that it may be difficult to police, given that it’s not always easy to discern if a photo has been edited, it’s still unclear whether the new rules will apply to lighting/saturation adjustments too. However, while some of the specifics have still yet to be ironed out, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang reports that the bill has largely been met with positive feedback from locals. Commenting that it will help to bring back a sense of reality to social media, many have called for the law to extend regulations beyond just promotional material.
“Filters [are] something that should be fun, something you can laugh at, or be allowed to have a realistic butterfly on your face. Not to create a false beauty ideal,” influencer Annijor Jørgensen said in the article.
Introduced amid ongoing cultural conversations surrounding body image and beauty ideals, a statement from the Ministry went on to say that “body pressure is always there, often imperceptibly, and is difficult to combat”.
The King of Norway will decide when the new law comes into effect.
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