Instagram moved Wednesday to restrict or remove posts promoting weight loss products and cosmetic surgery amid concerns over the effects of health misinformation on social media.
Instagram will block users under the age of 18 from seeing posts that promote using certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures, The Guardian reported. Posts which contain a "miraculous" diet or weight loss claim and a link to a commercial offer will be removed entirely, according to the newspaper.
Emma Collins, Instagram's public policy manager, told BuzzFeed News the changes were aimed at addressing influencer marketing on the platform. Instagram has, in recent years, become "a go-to marketplace for sellers of health products," though claims of product benefits are largely unregulated, according to CNBC.
Instagram officials said that in coming weeks, they plan to introduce additional ways to report posts which violate the policy, The Hill reported.
“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," Emma Collins, Instagram's public policy manager, said in a statement obtained by The Guardian.
Actress Jameela Jamil, who in 2018 founded the "I Weigh" campaign on Instagram, praised news of the new policy in a statement published Wednesday on Instagram.
"After a bunch of shouting, screaming, and petitioning... we have managed to get the attention of the people at the top, and they have heard us and want to protect us," Jamil wrote. "And this is just the beginning of our efforts."
THIS IS HUGE NEWS. @i_weigh are changing the world together. After a bunch of shouting, screaming, and petitioning... we have managed to get the attention of the people at the top, and they have heard us and want to protect us. And this is just the beginning of our efforts. As of now, if you’re under 18, you will no longer be exposed to any diet/detox products, and for all other ages; all fad products that have bogus, unrealistic claims will be taken down and easy to report. I’ve been working with Instagram all year towards this, who were amazing to deal with, and they expressed that they passionately care about creating a safer space for us all online. This happened so much faster than I expected and I’m so proud and happy and relieved. WELL DONE to the many people who have been working towards this huge change. This is a mass effort. This is an extraordinary win that is going to make a big difference. Influencers have to be more responsible. ❤️
The policy is being led by Instagram, but will also impact content on the platform's parent company, Facebook, according to BuzzFeed News.
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