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Instagram on Wednesday announced that it will now restrict and remove posts that promote or sell “miraculous” weight-loss and cosmetic products on its platform.
In a statement emailed to media, the company reportedly said that the move aims to “reduce the pressure that people can feel sometimes as a result of social media”.
Many weight-loss products, such as diet teas, are often unhealthy and dangerous, or simply do not work. Often, these products are promoted by influencers and celebrities.
“We’ve sought guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over 1 billion people around the world – whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expression and discussion,” Instagram said.
The company further noted that some offending posts will be hidden from users under 18, while others will be removed from the platform entirely.
For The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil, the move is “an extraordinary win that is going to make a big difference”.
Jamil, who is well known for her activism against body shaming and weight loss promotion, worked with Instagram to update its policies.
“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 said in an Instagram post.
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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. ❤️
While the move does create a safer space online, Instagram is yet to address the fact that users can easily access private accounts and posts on the platform too.
Feature image: Memeburn