Norway’s retouched photo law

In an effort to fight the potentially harmful effect of unrealistic beauty standards promoted by social networks, Norway passed a law on June 2, requiring influencers to report and identify any retouched photos. Failure to comply may result in fines or even prison sentences.

From now on, images in which the size, shape or skin of the subject has been altered will have to bear a label drawn up by the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Family Affairs.

The Minister of Children and Family Affairs, who initiated the law, said he hoped the measure would “make a useful and significant contribution to limiting the negative impact of this type of advertising, particularly on children and young people”. He also admitted that in practice, enforcing the law would however be quite complicated as spotting altered photos is not always easy.

In France, a 2017 law makes it compulsory for fashion magazines, among others, to identify retouched images, but there exists no similar provision for influencers on social networks. Perhaps Norway will pave the way for a debate on the issue in France.