Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 24 April 2021
THE PRIME Minister, Boris Johnson, has responded to Dr. Luke Evans’ proposed Bill towards doctored photographs.
Dr. Luke Evans, a former General Practitioner (GP) and currently running Member of Parliament, who represents the areas of Hinckley and Bosworth in Parliament, virtually spoke in the House of Commons during the Prime Minister’s Questions this Wednesday (21 April), asking if the Prime Minister would back his Bill.
He asked Boris Johnson if he would back his proposed Bill which would see doctored photographs marked as such with a watermark of some sort on them, whether it be of an edited human body, or edited human body part.
The ruling would not just affect influential social media ‘influencers’, but also advertisers, broadcasters, publishers, and those who edit photographs ‘for comedic effect’.
In his call to the Prime Minister to back his campaign, he said: “As we come out of lockdown and look to the summer, we know that many people are going to be concerned about their body image.
“We know that there are [approximately] 1.25 million people who suffer with eating disorders, and [as up to] one million people [are] using steroids, that number’s getting worse.”
He further quoted a recent report which was released two weeks ago by the Women and Equalities Committee, that stated that “doctored photos promoting unachievable body images were having a detrimental impact”.
He then proceeded to ask if the Prime Minister would consider ‘all options’, including labelling digitally altered images, in a bid to help deal with the rise in body image issues like anorexia and steroid abuse.
Prime Minister’s response
Responding to the Leicestershire-based MP’s question on whether he will be backing his Bill, The Prime Minister replied: “My honourable friend is raising a very important point.
“I think that he and the whole House [of Commons] are aware of the pressure that young people in particular can feel as a result of doctored images and as part of the consultation on the online advertising programme.
“We will look at what we can do. I know that we will be responding to the select committee’s report in due course.”
Those backing the Bill
Luke’s Bill has already received backing from Henry Turnbull who works as the Head of Public Policy for Snap Inc. in the United Kingdom and Nordics, which is the parent company of Snapchat, who believes ‘it has some merit’.
Snapchat have already implemented similar watermarks on their photo filters.
The campaign has further received backing from the Girlguiding group, who are the leading charity for girls and young women.
According to The Mirror, it has even received support from Laura Anderson, who appeared on Season 4 of Love Island, who wasn’t ‘100 per cent’ on the proposed law at first, but she has since told the BBC that she is now ‘all for it’.