Photos, especially selfies, are everywhere these days and technology has made it is easier than ever to edit and distort visually unappealing issues. With the swipe of a finger, it is now possible to make oneself seem skinnier, pretty, taller, etc., via digital editing and this practice has become so commonplace that a recent Harris Poll/Survey revealed that 93 percent of 2,000 American citizens over the age of eighteen believe that a disproportionate number of photos on the internet have been edited.

TRUEPIC is an anti-filter app that gained much popularity after a Harris Poll discovered that people tend to distrust websites since they believe many photos have been manipulated.

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On sites that deal with dating, celebrities, online shopping, health and weight-loss blogs, and Airbnb rentals the problem is especially pressing and apparent. TRUEPIC enables people--and businesses--to verify that an image is authentic.

Survey

Photo editing and altering is a growing problem with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of survey responders admitting that they have somehow edited a photo before putting it online. Due to the commonality of this practice, Millennials are slightly more trusting of websites that feature edited photos rather than their older peers. Respondents declared that most photos are modified to hide issues such as red eyes, dark circles, and/or blemishes. People may also edit photos to appear younger and/or thinner and 29 percent of Millennials had admitted to doctoring photos just so they can feel better about themselves.

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TRUEPIC gives people a way to see through the filters.

TREUPIC is a #Startup that is the brainchild of California-based #technology entrepreneurs Jeffrey McGregor and Craig Stack who, as career investors, have seen firsthand how falsified records can cause problems for companies. Moreover, Craig’s wife is the founder of a dating website who decided to tailor her entire onboarding process due to the overwhelming prevalence of altered or old photos on such matchmaking sites.

“Suffice to say I had enough ammunition to know that the editing pendulum had swung too far, but there was really no sophisticated technology solution to combat it,” Craig stated in a recent exclusive interview. “So, about two years ago, I started working on TRUEPIC. I brought Jeff on to run the company about a year ago, based on a strong recommendation from a couple of our investors.”

Editing

Craig and Jeff decided to launch the poll to garner a more intimate look of how the average American perceives online photos.

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“Some of the findings were really eye-opening,” Jeff said. “For instance, 93% of Americans suspect photos have been manipulated – that’s a startling figure, and actually higher than the percent that actually do edit photos! This kind of skepticism is really bad for businesses too since it negatively impacts consumer trust in the companies feature photos.”

Jeff also noted how the obsession with photo editing has started to become so commonplace--even competitive among peers--that it has started to have detrimental effects on people’s very quality of life.

“If you are following all of your friends on Instagram or Facebook, every picture is being edited to make that pic better and make life look more exciting,” he noted. “In contrast, if you aren’t editing your pictures, you’re at a disadvantage -- your life becomes less exciting or enticing. It’s really a negative dynamic in my mind; people shouldn’t feel that they have to alter their own appearances to be socially accepted.”

Jeff raises a point that has been echoed by many major celebrities who have criticized glossy magazines for photo editing their featured models to seem so perfect that their standards of beauty are practically unattainable. Hence, these images have proven to be damaging to the self-esteem of young readers. In response to this, a “no filter” movement has started to gain traction via the tag #nofilter.

App

Given the cautionary attitudes towards online photos, the public response to TRUEPIC has been incredibly positive thus far. Jeff and Craig have recently been meeting with several businesses to sell TRUEPIC, and have roughly a dozen beta customers for their SDK that range from Fortune 500 insurance carriers to leading beauty brands.

“When you consider how huge the sharing economy has become and how much trust is based on images, or the fact that insurers are now encouraging customers to submit photo claims for immediate reimbursement, or the dangers that have come to light from people meeting virtual strangers they met on Craigslist or online dating sites, most of the executives we meet with immediately get why this is so important,” Jeff proclaimed. “We’re currently hiring and working to assemble a world-class team of digital experts. Over the next 12 months, our Enterprise SDK will launch with our current group of beta partners and we will ramp up sales across key verticals and also continue investing in our certification technologies for businesses and consumers.” #Apps