We have all seen the diet tea- and flat tummy shake ads on Instagram. Influencers are promoting all types of products that claim to miraculously make you lose weight in a short period of time. It’s the perfect platform to sell diet products. Most of scroll through pictures of fit girls and skinny models for the average time of 32 minutes per day. After a while, we all start believing maybe we could lose a few kilos. Now finally, Instagram is implementing new policies around content that promotes diet products and cosmetic procedures.
Help offered for viewers of pro Ana content
It’s not the first time the platform has made changes. For years the platform was accused of allowing posts that show and encourage behavior related with eating disorders. Instagram took action after many complaints. There is currently a pilot to hide likes, searches for sensitive content will lead users to supportive websites. If we search for the hashtag #AnaIsMyFriend (Ana refers to Anorexia Nervosa) we will see a button to get support.
The new policy changes for diet ads
The new changes to the policy entail that users under 18 won’t be served diet product related ads. If content makes claims about miraculous diet and weight loss products, they will be completely removed from Instagram.
Instagram’s public policy manager Emma Collins explains why these changes are necessary:
“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.”
The policy change will extend to Facebook. Users will be able to report breaches of the new policy. Actress Jameela Jamil started the popular Instagram account @i_weigh that has amassed over 837K followers. Jamil said: “This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet and detox industry. Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online, sends an important message out to the world,”
Will this mean the end of the detox tea era? Maybe not but, it shows Instagram is more aware of the negative influence content can have, especially on younger users.