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Kylie Jenner
courtesy of Instagram/@kyliejenner

Instagram now restricting posts that promote weight loss & cosmetic surgery


TextAlex Peters

The new regulations will see certain products hidden from users under 18 and others removed completely

Instagram is tightening its regulations on posts that relate to weight loss products and cosmetic surgery it has been announced.  

After increasing concerns over the impact that promoting diet and ‘detox’ products can have on young people’s mental health and body image, the social media platform is implementing new rules that will see age restrictions applied to some posts while others will be removed completely. The measure will also apply to Facebook.

Under these new restrictions, any post that promotes weight loss products or cosmetic procedures which include a price or some incentive to buy will be hidden from users under the age of 18. Any content that is linked to a commercial offer, for example, a discount code, or makes a “miraculous” claim about the product will be removed altogether.  

“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,” Instagram’s public policy manager Emma Collins says.

Over the last few years, it has become increasingly common for celebrities with huge followings to promote weight-loss aids such as detox teas. Kim Kardashian was widely criticised last year for publicly endorsing diet lollipops, while Cardi B, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and Iggy Azalea have all promoted similar products. With their social media followings in the millions and many followers young girls, concerns were raised over the effect these posts were having on people. 

In February, NHS Medical Director Stephen Powis called for a ban on celebrity-endorsed social media ads of weight loss products, arguing that they were having a damaging effect on the physical and mental health of young people. 

Actress and body-image activist Jameela Jamil has also been very vocal about her criticism of these detox products and the celebrities who endorse them, publicly calling out stars including Kim Kardashian and Cardi B. Jamil, who worked alongside Instagram to put together the new measure, celebrated the victory on Twitter. “A HUGE DAY! A MAJOR STEP IN THE FIGHT WITH THE DIRTY SIDE OF THE DIET/DETOX INDUSTRY!!! Influencers best watch yourselves…,” she tweeted last night. 

“This is just the beginning of our efforts at ‘I WEIGH’ but for now, it has been incredible to work alongside Instagram and their experts to create policies to protect people from irresponsible influencers who sell bogus products to their followers. Thank you for helping us.” 

“Greedy influencers who push toxic products, will have to find another way to scam the innocent people who follow them, because we are shutting this shit down today. (Literally)”

This is not the end of the fight for Jamil, however. She now has her sights her government. “We have all made a huge step in protecting young people from the perils of the devious diet/detox industry. Onwards and upwards we go. Social media now. Next: The law,” she wrote. Watch this space.

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