Instagram has made restrictions that prevent users under the age of 18 from seeing certain content pushing weight loss products and cosmetic procedures. As concerns have been raised about the impact that diet, detox and cosmetic surgery content can have on young people, their mental health and body image.
Instagram new restrictions also include removing content that make a ‘miraculous claim’ about certain diet or weight loss products and is linked to a commercial offer like a discount code. These posts will no longer be allowed under Instagram’s community guidelines and there will be an added functionality to allow users to report the posts that don’t fall under the same guidelines.
“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.
“We’ve sought guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over 1 billion people around the world – whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expression and discussion.”
This move by the social media giant might be because of numerous studies that have suggested Instagram may be a contributing factor to eating disorders and depression among teenagers. The social media platform has also been blamed for a rise in interest in plastic surgery.
It’s a good move by Instagram, and will hopefully help lead the way forward for other platforms. These new regulations will be in effect starting this week.