Instagram has faced plenty of parental backlash over its platform of influencers shilling diet and cosmetic procedure ads to all users. Now thew popular social media site has announced a plan to limit diet and cosmetic procedure ads.
Users aged under 18 will no longer be able to view posts promoting weight loss products or cosmetic surgery. Instagram will also place an age restriction on posts including an incentive to buy a promoted product or a listed price. Likewise, posts will be deleted if they make “a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code,” the company stated in a press release.
Younger users are more vulnerable to believing these ads, especially if they come from celebrities or influencers they admire. These trending diet products can affect their physical health long term, as well as their mental health when they set unrealistic goals for themselves with cosmetic surgery and diet ads.
“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,” stated Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager.
In recent months, Instagram also tested out removing likes from posts for select users.
Instagram is asking users to report content that violates the new policy as they come across it. Once reported, the platform will investigate and rule whether or not the posts need to be restricted or removed entirely.
The changes will be applied to both Instagram and Facebook, the owner of Instagram. There’s still plenty of work to be done, however. Younger users can still register accounts with an older age, making the posts just as accessible as before.