Instagram Will Now Restrict Posts That Promote Weight Loss Products

People under 18 will no longer be able to see posts that promote diet teas.

Instagram has launched a new policy that will restrict posts related to weight loss products and cosmetic surgery.

The app will now hide posts that promote certain diet teas, ‘detoxes’, and cosmetic procedures from users known to be under 18.

In addition, any content that makes a “miraculous” claim about a diet or weight loss product with an incentive to buy (like a discount code) will be removed outright. Users will soon be able to report posts they feel go against these guidelines.

Weight loss products have become ubiquitous on the platform over the past few years – and the celebrities who promote them have been criticised for a seeming lack of care for the body image and mental health of their young followers.

In a statement, Instagram public policy manager Emma Collins said that they consulted external experts to ensure the new policy will be helpful to users.

“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,” she said.

Speaking to the Standard, Collins explained that no one is exempt from the policy:

“If [a Kardashian’s] Instagram post is pulled into the policy of promoting diet products or procedures for sale, it will be removed. The Kardashians are people we continue to have collaborative conversations with, they’ll be made aware of the change. It’s not in the interest of the broader community to be exposed to these kinds of branded miracle claims.”

Actress and body image campaigner Jameela Jamil, who has been outspoken in her criticism of fellow celebrities who promote diet products, says she was one of the people Instagram consulted about the changes.

“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,” she wrote.

It seems as if the new policy is already in place – this post by Kim Kardashian from January promoting ‘flat tummy tea’ now has this warning on it:

This is the latest step Instagram has taken to make the app a safer space for younger users. In July, the platform began hiding likes, something they hope will “remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love”.

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