Here’s why kids won’t see ads for detox teas and lip injections on Instagram and Facebook anymore
Instagram is cracking down on what influences its youngest users.
The Facebook-ownedFB, +1.06%site’s advertising policies have never officially allowed for sponsored posts to push certain weight loss products and cosmetic procedures — but that hasn’t stopped A-listers like the Jenners and the Kardashians from sharing #ad posts of diet teas and appetite-suppressing lollipops.
So the photo-fronted social network has teamed up with body positive activist and actress Jameela Jamil to implement a new policy, which now blocks users under 18 years old from seeing paid-for posts that push diet and detox products, as well as posts advertising cosmetic surgery.
“If a post promotes the use of certain weight loss products or cosmetic procedures, and has an incentive to buy or includes a price, we will restrict people we know to be under 18 from seeing that post,” according to the Instagram (and Facebook) policy shared with MarketWatch.
What’s more, Facebook and Instagram will crack down on products backed by bogus “science,” and start removing them “when the content makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code.” And over the coming weeks, the sites will roll out a feature for users to report such posts within their apps.
“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,” said Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager, in a statement to MarketWatch. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.
Research has accused social media — and Instagram and Facebook, in particular — of distorting how young people see themselves. A 2018 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association claimed that social media platforms are fueling a rise in mental health disorders and body dysmorphic disorder, which has led to some users seeking out plastic surgery procedures to meet unrealistic beauty standards. A review of 20 studies on social media and self esteem also associated social media use with body image issues and eating disorders. And Instagram in particular has been named the worst social media platform for the mental health of young people.
“The Good Place” star Jamil, who founded the i_weigh body positive platform, wrote on her own Instagram page on Wednesday “This is an extraordinary win that makes a big difference. Influencers have to be more responsible.”
She also told Elle UK that society has “hyper-normalized flogging nonsense to young impressionable people. These people are selling hair growth gummies but wearing extensions, or photoshopping themselves to look slimmer and selling a weight loss shake.”
She added that, “For huge corporations — who are the main access points for these companies to sell their products to young people over the internet — to say they don’t condone this sends out a huge ripple across the Earth. It says that if giant corporations are willing to take a stand against this, then it must be really serious.”
Jamil has a history of calling out celebrities and influencers who promote diet products, such as when she said Kim Kardashian is “a terrible and toxic influence on young girls” last year, after Kardashian hawked Flat Tummy Co’s appetite-suppressing lollipops on her Instagram. (Kardashian later took down the post.)
It’s the latest hit against influencers, who can earn big bucks by pushing all manner of branded products to their thousands of followers. Indeed, Kylie Jenner can command $1.27 million per sponsored post, according to HopperHq.com’s Instagram Rich List. Ariana Grande can score $966,000 per post. Sister Kim Kardashian can collect $910,000.
Related: Kylie Jenner can make more money in one Instagram post than many people earn in a lifetime
Instagram has been test-driving removing the “likes” feature in some markets in seven countries, including Australia, Canada and Japan, and hiding the number of “likes” that followers can see on a post (the original poster will see be able to see them, however) to rein in the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses (or, Kardashians) mentality that many users crave to get as much online vindication as possible. So rather than focusing on how many “likes” they get, users can simply … look at the pictures. And that wrecks the business model for influencers who measure their influence by the number of “likes” and followers that they get.
Instagram has also been removing “flipped accounts,” or those that have been bought and sold, which has hit the pockets of people like this 23-year-old who makes flipping Insta pages his full-time career.
Related: This 23-year-old has made $120,000 buying and selling Instagram accounts
Source: Read Full Article