FACT CHECK: Did Texas Ban Social Media Filters?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

video on Instagram purports the state of Texas banned the use of face filters on social media platforms such as Instagram.

Verdict: Misleading

Texas has not banned Instagram filters, but some facial recognition technology used on Instagram did violate state law.

Fact Check:

Texas previously sued Meta, the parent of Facebook, in February 2022 over allegations that it collected facial recognition data without consent from users, according to The New York Times. Despite the lawsuit and criticism of the technology, most companies in the state are still implementing facial recognition for ID purposes, Fast Company reported.

The Instagram post purports Texas has banned social media filters that alter appearances. The post shows one heavily digitally altered photo and another of the same photo that supposedly has no alterations.

“Shout out to Texas for banning Instagram Filters,” the post reads. “I now see how serious the threat is. Lmaooo Filters Fishing is crazy.” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims A Facial Recognition firm Identified Members Of ANTIFA At The US Capitol)

The caption is inaccurate. There are no credible news reports that suggest this claim is accurate. Instagram filters are available for users living in Texas. At no point were basic filters that alter colors, hues and lighting suspended.

However, Instagram’s parent company Meta did suspend certain augmented reality-based filters after a lawsuit argued this technology violated Texas’s facial recognition and privacy laws, according to The Texas Tribune. These features were suspended for a short time but are now available to social media users in Texas after Meta added an option for users to opt-out of the use of the technology on their personal devices, the outlet reported.

This is not the first time misinformation about filters has spread online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim Elon Musk would buy Snapchat and delete all filters.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter

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