Filter Fakers: A Tumblr That Exists To Call Out Instagram Fakers

Enforcing the code of the #nofilter tag

Filter Fakers
Filter Fakers

For some people, the #nofilter tag is serious business. For the unfamiliar, it's a hashtag used on mega-photo-sharing service, Instagram to indicate when a posted image hasn't been subjected to one of their filters. Users put it on their photos like a badge of honor, proclaiming their photographic skills. Unfortunately, some of them are liars, which is where the Filter Fakers Tumblr comes in.

The site patrols Instagram images tagged #nofilter and checks to see if a filter has been slapped on. Each filter has a pretty distinct vignette effect baked in, which makes it possible for an automated script to detect them. it's enforcing the honor system that otherwise reigns in the world of hashtags.

Looking through the images, it's curious why some people would even use the #nofilter tag since the editing is so obvious. In fact, it seems safe to say that some people aren't looking to flex their photographic muscles, but rather they just don't understand how you're supposed to use it.

The whole thing seems a bit trite and even a little petty on its face, but it reflects a conversation that has been going on in the larger photographic community forever. People are increasingly distrustful of images, suspecting that they've been "faked" at every turn, causing controversy after controversy. Even this year's World Press Photo award winner was subject to it.

While a photo of someone's breakfast with a fraudulent #nofilter tag may be a lot less important than a top photojournalism prize, it's nice to see that people still care enough about the authenticity of an image to call out cheaters and actually back up their accusations. Maybe some day we'll have that ability on a much larger scale.

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