This Dating App Wants You to Stop With the Filters Already

Plenty of Fish just announced a ban on profile photos that use popular filters from social media.
Katie Way
Brooklyn, US

Dating app Plenty of Fish announced Tuesday that it will ban filtered photos as part of a push to “drive authenticity in dating,” according to a press release from the company. The app’s customer care team will audit the 70 million photos already floating around the app (a process it plans to complete before the end of the year) in search of augmented selfies, which it will “manually remove.”

PoF will also be monitoring new uploads for Kylie Jenner Lip Kit promotions, diamond halos, or animated sunglasses—an update to community guidelines for the app that users were notified of last month. The company intends to focus on filters that heavily and cartoonishly distort a user’s appearance, like the ones popularized by Snapchat and Instagram, rather than the more subtle tweaks achieved by apps like Lightroom, VSCO, or Facetune.


It’s perfectly reasonable to expect your would-be date to depict themselves online in a way that’s true to who they are behind the screen. We’ve all seen Catfish. But anybody who has used a Snapchat filter anytime between their 2011 release (I know, sorry) and now also knows that they…make you look different. That’s kind of the entire point. Yes, we were all devastated when we found out the reason the dog filter is so flattering is because it also changes your face shape, but I’d like to think we’ve gotten a little less gullible since then. Alterations from actual photo-editing apps are trickier to spot. For the layperson, a Snapchat filter is a lot less deceptive than an impossibly skinny arm or digitally shaved jawline.

“We will be giving all users an opportunity to self-moderate in advance of removal, so they can upload photos that better represent who they really are! From there, users can expect them to be manually removed from profiles,” a representative for Plenty of Fish told VICE.

But what if who you really are is a person who loves taking and posting pictures of yourself that make you look like the subject of an Andy Warhol painting? Besides, if heavily altered selfies are a huge pet peeve of yours, wouldn’t you rather know in advance if your potential date is a filter freak before it’s too late, and you’re raising a family with someone who Facetunes your children’s yearbook photos?

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