If you’re planning to “prove” your photographic prowess by claiming to not need any filter whatsoever to beautify your Instagram photos, you better be sure you really went au naturel – because there’s now a blog that’s scouring the app for any fakers on the #NoFilter front and outing them for the Internet to mock.
Filter Fakers is every online pretender’s nightmare: Not only is the offending photo publicized by this automated list, the person’s Instagram username and the filter used is revealed as well.
Contrary to what these fakers think, it’s actually fairly easy to distinguish an Instagram photo enhanced via filters from one that is legitimately unedited. The site provides a guide you can study if you want to be your own Instagram detective, comparing side-by-side a photo of Ryan Gosling pre-edit and its filtered counterpart. Scrutinizing each pair will definitely reveal a lot of differences in lighting, coloring, and other additional effects.
The site was created by Oskar Sundberg and Per Stenius of Kinda Like A Big Deal. From what it looks like, anyone who suspects a user from faking a #nofilter Instagram hashtag can submit a link to the photo on Filter Fakers. The algorithm behind the site will determine if your friend warrants heckling for being a huge liar or if they really posted an honest-to-goodness unfiltered photo by using Instagram’s API, which includes filter information. “To get the best results we apply a few rules, like sorting out photos with lots of hashtags (then it’s probably copy-pasted and possibly not on purpose), Stenius tells us. “We also filter out things like ‘#nofilter, kidding’ and do a few more [exceptions] to try to get a list of people actually cheating on purpose. We might be wrong, but it’s all in good fun.”
The entire #nofilter fad is a weird one: The purpose of Instagram is to filter your photos. There are also those who are cunning enough to download another filter app, save a filtered photo using that, and then upload the final result to Instagram so it’s not immediately obvious that the image has a filter since it doesn’t look like anything from the platform’s available gallery. It’s a considerable amount of steps to go through to lie and use the #nofilter hashtag, but that doesn’t mean obsessives won’t do it.
And this particular loophole means you are still uncatchable by Filter Fakers: If you still want to continue with your charade, the makers of the site suggest that you use Camera+ or similar apps instead, as they can only currently catch offenders by tracking the filters built into Instagram. Or you know … just upload unfiltered photos.