Weigh to go! Instagram Clamps Down on Posts Promoting Cosmetic Procedures and Dieting
Instagram has recently announced that they will be regulating posts displayed to users under the age of 18. Having reviewed their advertising guidelines and policies, they will either implement age restrictions or remove posts in their entirety, that falsely advertise dieting products or reference certain cosmetic procedures.
A rise in influencer and celebrity activity on the platform is believed to be the driving force behind these changes. Popular influencers, such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, have previously received backlash for promoting dieting products such as lollipops or weight-loss tea. False advertising on Instagram is commonplace, with posts often being accompanied by exaggerated and unverified claims. Most of the outrage faced by these influencers surrounds the mental health implications of these posts on younger audiences.
Cosmetic procedures promoted on the app are also thought to impact the self-esteem of younger children, during key stages of their development. The unrealistic standards and expectations set by the posts could lead to a myriad of problems, including body dysmorphia. Additionally, the influencers promoting these procedures are by no means experts.
Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager, explained that their new policies aim to “reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” in order to make Instagram more of “a positive place for everyone”.
However, whilst these changes appear positive, the future implications of these new policies must be considered. How far will Instagram take their new regulations in their pursuit of safeguarding younger users? In the future will they regulate posts where influencers boast unachievable curves and unattainable lips, without alluding to any cosmetic procedures or products? Unfortunately, only time will tell, but given how widespread mental health problems are in younger generations, it’s fair to say this is a step in the right direction.