This is the reaction of Instagram in response to concerns about the effect of contents on young people's mental health.
Concerns have been raised about the effect that diet, detox and cosmetic surgery material can have on teenagers, their mental health and appearance of the body. Instagram has announced that some posts relating to diet products and cosmetic surgery will be subject to tighter restrictions. The social media platform said age restrictions would be added to some of these posts from Wednesday on both Instagram and Facebook, while others would be excluded.
Instagram said posts encouraging the use of certain weight-loss items or cosmetic procedures that have an incentive to buy or include a price under its new rules will be removed from users considered to be under the age of 18. In addition, the site said any material that made a "miraculous" statement about a diet or weight loss product and was related to a promotional offer such as a discount code would now be deleted from Instagram.
According to Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager:
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.
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, added Emma.
After the announcement, Jameela Jamil, an outspoken body positive advocate, called the strategy a "huge win." Among those partnering with Instagram to implement the changes was the actress, who launched the body-positive I Weigh campaign in reaction to the amount of food items she was seeing on social media.
The announcement of Instagram comes after growing concern about the effect that social media has on the appearance of the body. In May, 4,505 people were interviewed by the Mental Health Foundation and found that one in eight had considered taking their own lives due to body image issues.
Various studies have indicated that Instagram can contribute to teenage eating disorders and depression. An increase in interest in plastic surgery among younger people was also blamed on the social media platform. Instagram is taking a huge step to become a less negative social network and change the way people have thought about it.