Instagram has announced that it will restrict users under the age of 18 from seeing posts that promote select weight-loss products and cosmetic surgery procedures, while the company will also ban some types of ads that promote unrealistic “get thin quick” products entirely, reports the BBC.
The move comes after concerns have grown about the plethora of Instagram influencers who are posting pics with weight-loss products in them. These posts could give young people both unrealistic expectations about what the normal human body should look like and can mislead them into thinking they should be using weight-loss products if they don’t like the way they look.
From now the company will restrict users under the age of 18 from seeing any Instagram posts that promote weight-loss products or types of cosmetic surgery that also have an incentive to buy or are accompanied by a price for the product shown in the post. Posts do not need to be from the product’s account to be eligible for the ban. Any influencer who, for example, shows a sachet of “weight loss” tea in a post and urges their followers to buy it would find that post will not be shown to under-18’s.
The company also said it will remove posts entirely if it “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight-loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code.”
Announcing the changes, Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager, said, “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.”