Instagram is making a much needed update to its site and policy.
Instagram has announced a new policy that will block content promoting weight-loss and cosmetic procedures from users under 18. In addition, content that makes wild claims about diet or weight loss products and/or is linked to a discount code will also be blocked or removed from the platform.
According to CNN, these changes come after the social media company has seen a rise of users promoting such products to their followers.
“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,” Instagram’s public policy manager Emma Collins said in a statement.
But how will Instagram enforce this policy? The company will provide a feature allowing users to report posts that possibly violate the policy. Companies employees will then review the post and then take action if need be.
Good Place actress Jameela Jamil praised this change. Jamil has been a vocal advocate for body positivity. She even created a campaign called “I Weigh” to inspire people to love their bodies more.
As she told Newsbeat last year, Jameela is constantly amazed by society’s, and especially the media’s, constantly pressure on body issues.
“I’d gained 200,000 listeners which was great, and the papers on that day – instead of reporting that – reported that I’d gained two dress sizes and had loads of photographs fat shaming me and ridiculing my body,” she said.
“I just thought – why do we care so much about this? When women have come so far in life why are we still being told to care about this?”
“I’m hearing about eight-year-olds and nine-year-olds worried about their bodies and their thighs, and their thigh gaps. It’s just out of control,” Jameela said.
“At least before it used to just be celebrities, but now it’s people trolling each other on Instagram, or glamorising being anorexic.”
After Instagram announced this new policy, Jameela Jamil shared her pleasure at the news.
“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.”
This is just one of the many ways that Instagram is playing with updating and changing how the platform works. In addition to this, the company is cracking down on hashstags like #VaccinescauseAIDS, releasing tools to help users manage time on the app better, and testing the removal of likes so people can focus more on the content they share and not on how many likes a post gets.
All of this is to create a better experience for Instagram’s users.