Instagram Is Cracking Down On Those Fit Tea Ads

Published on September 23, 2019

As Facebook gears up to launch its own Oversight Board that will dictate what the platform is allowed to censor and remove out of the millions of user-generated content posted to the platform each day, the company is looking to tighten its rules and regulations on sponsored posts over at Instagram. The social networking company announced this month that it plans to tighten restrictions on ads that promote nutritional products or medical procedures that promote “miraculous claims” with little proof to back them up. The company is working in the general interest of teens and minors, as it feels that this type of content could be dangerous in the sense that it promotes body modifications or potentially dangerous medical procedures to young people.

Fit tea ads and lip injections are not the only target of the new policy changes, though. Instagram’s tighter policies include any product that claims to miraculously change the body by either getting rid of belly fat or promising to increase lip size. Since many of these products are not FDA approved, Instagram is looking to remove itself from the conversation surrounding how these products are marketed. Often, influencer marketing sees fitness teas and medical procedures advertised to teenagers. The ultimate goal for these changes is to make ad restrictions on the platform that keep this type of content out of sight for anyone under the age of 18, though the platform plans to remove some of the content altogether.

“It’s not in the interest of the broader community to be exposed to these kind of branded miracle claims,” said Emma Collins, the Public Policy Manager at Instagram to the Evening Standard earlier in September. “We’ve also gone a step further where young people are concerned and the action that we’re taking for under 18s is that any branded promotion of weight loss products or undertaking of cosmetic procedures will be restricted so under 18s won’t see them,” said Collins. The policy goes into effect immediately and certain posts have already been removed from the social networking platform, according to the Evening Standard.

Celebrities Have Petitioned Nutritional Products On Instagram For Years Now.

It’s no secret that teens face increased pressure to look and feel a certain way about their bodies in an age where social media shows a constant and unrealistic presentation of the world around them. Celebrities and other public figures have been putting the pressure on Instagram to create policies that protect young people from having potentially unhealthy targeted ads thrown their way. Actress Jameela Jamil has advocated for Instagram to tighten its policies surrounding advertisements for diet products, nutritional supplements, and medical procedures that put added pressure on teenagers and young adults to make unhealthy decisions in the name of looking good for Instagram.

“THIS IS HUGE NEWS. @i_weigh are changing the world together,” Jamil wrote on Instagram after the company announced its policy changes. From now on users will be able to easily report posts that claim to have miraculous promises on what they can do for the body. Those under 18 will not be able to see the posts at all. Jamil, who stars in NBC’s “The Good Place,” is the founder of I Weigh, a body positivity movement that aims to break down the diet and body modification culture heavily present on social media.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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