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French law proposes jail time or social media bans for influencers who promote plastic surgery or don't label filtered photos

Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Sinesia Karol

A new law under consideration in France would apply strict enforcement against social media influencers who do not disclose retouched photos or who promote paid partnerships for certain industries, such as plastic surgery, according to the New York Post.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is proposing penalties for violators of the new regulations, which require photos or videos that are filtered or retouched to be labeled as such, as well as prohibiting “all promotion for cosmetic surgery … as part of a paid partnership."

Reports state that promoting gambling and cryptocurrency through paid partnerships is also banned.

For violations, influencers could face up to two years in jail and over $30,000 in fines. If found guilty, they would be banned from social media platforms.

"This is the first time in Europe that a complete framework for regulating influencers will be put in place," Le Maire told French outlet FranceInfo.

"We will not let anything go by," he remarked, while adding that the governing bodies must not discriminate or over-regulate the social media sector.

“Influencers must be subject to the same rules as those that apply to traditional media,” and the internet “is not the Wild West," the minister continued.

France tried to pass a similar law in 2017 that required any commercial photos to label any retouching or editing that made a model's body look thinner (or thicker), mandating a “photographie retouchée” (retouched photograph) disclaimer.

The health minister at the time said that popular images were promoting “inaccessible beauty ideals," and the idea was to "prevent anoxeria among young people."

In the United States, social media platforms face increased scrutiny, with journalists being suspended from Twitter, along with discussion at the federal level of banning TikTok.

Lawmakers are concerned that the Chinese app is stealing American user data, while critics of proposed legislation say that it will allow the government to seize more power and censor Americans.

According to Politico.eu, French President Emmanuel Macron has an approval rating of just 31% and a disapproval rating of 68%.

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