Instagram announces tighter restrictions on diet and cosmetic surgery posts

18 September 2019, 15:27

Some diet and surgery content will be age restricted or deleted
Some diet and surgery content will be age restricted or deleted. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Instagram will be putting new restrictions on posts relating to diet products and cosmetic surgery after concerns about the effects they have on young people.

The social media platform has said that on both Instagram and Facebook, age restrictions will be imposed on some posts relating to diet, detox and cosmetic surgery content, while others will be removed.

The restrictions come after concerns have been raised about the impact of such posts on young people, their mental health and bod image.

Instagram said that under new rules, posts which promote certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures which have an incentive to buy, or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.

In addition, the platform said any content which makes a "miraculous" claim about a diet or weight-loss product and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code, will now be removed from Instagram.

Body positivity campaigner Jameela Jamil has welcomed the restrictions
Body positivity campaigner Jameela Jamil has welcomed the restrictions. Picture: PA

Emma Collins, Instagram's public policy manager said: "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 one billion people around the world, whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expression and discussion."

Actress and body positivity campaigner Jameela Jamil, who has repeatedly criticised high-profile online figures including Khloe Kardashian for posting on social media about diet products, said the update was a victory for mental health advocates.

"This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/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," she said.