Facebook is deciding what you should readand what you should not read, and following the example, Samsung Galaxy S7 decides automatically whether you are pretty or not. For example, if it finds freckles on your face, as described in this Android Authority update, the front-facing camera of Samsung Galaxy S7 automatically airbrushes those spots and makes your face appear smooth and “pretty”.
This “feature” was accidentally discovered by a UK-based health and fitness writer Mel Wells. Being also a popular Instagram user, she takes lots of selfies. Recently she noticed that there is a little difference about her appearance in the selfies from a new Samsung Galaxy S7. It automatically airbrushed the parts where her face seems to have freckles.
The camera application in Samsung Galaxy S7 has a “Beauty” filter. The problem is not with the filter, the problem is that the filter is turned on by default.
As a filter there is nothing wrong in that, but having it turned on by default does send wrong signals to youngsters who are already beauty-obsessed. When it automatically airbrushes your selfies, it tells you that your face, as it is, isn’t presentable. It needs extra touching. In photographs faces can be made “pretty” using different airbrushes and filters, otherwise in the real world, it can be done using some make up. Again, the problem is the unconscious message being sent by turning the filter on by default.
Many users have protested to such an extent that Samsung had to come out with an official statement, “At Samsung we offer a range of camera settings on our mobile phones for our customers to be able to choose to switch on or off. The beauty setting is one such setting that we know our customers love and has the option of being switched on or turned off completely, depending on personal preference.”
This is a major problem with technology companies that they start assuming, on their own or through their algorithms (as with the case of Facebook and Google) what their users prefer. I don’t want an algorithm deciding for me what I prefer. Similarly, I don’t want a mobile phone camera deciding for me how I should look in a selfie. The “Beauty” filter should be turned off by default.
Image source: Android Authority