Instagram to take stricter measures on diet and cosmetic surgery posts

Published: September 21, 2019
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

Instagram has taken an account of the increasing number of posts that go up promoting weight-loss and cosmetic surgery.

The social media giant has announced that the company will take firmer actions by removing posts that endorse ‘miraculous’ weight-loss and also hide some posts from under 18 users. There has been growing concern over posts that encourage the use of diet products and the impact it has on the younger generation.

“The move was a ‘huge win’ in the fight against the diet and detox industry,” body positivity activist Jameela Jami said.

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Changes that Instagram will implement?

Demoralising posts such as “get thin quick” will be removed and young people will be restricted from viewing some posts related to dieting and cosmetic surgery if they have an incentive to buy.

The changes will also be implemented on Facebook, which owns Instagram.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it, and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” said Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager.

Advice had been sought from experts in the field of social media policy, she added.

How did this change happen?

There has been increasing concern over the impact that the cosmetic and diet industry is having on people through the promotion of unrealistic goals.

In February, the medical director of National Health Service England, Stephen Powis voiced her concerns and called for a ban on celebrity-endorsed social media ads promoting weight loss aids, stating that products were having a damaging effect on the physical and mental health of young people.

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Jamil has initiated the I Weigh movement as a response against content that promotes weight loss products and unhealthy lifestyles; she welcomed the changes that Instagram is bringing to their social media platform.

“Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online sends an important message out to the world,” she said.

“I’m thrilled to have been able to work towards this with them, alongside a host of other experts who shed light on the danger of these products.”

This article originally appeared on BBC.

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